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Free Content Compliance with cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for the prevention of opportunistic infections in HIV-positive tuberculosis patients in Thyolo district, Malawi

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OBJECTIVE: To verify compliance with cotrimoxazole prophylaxis in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected tuberculosis (TB) patients during the continuation phase of anti-tuberculosis treatment, and to assess the sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive values of verbal verification and pill counts as methods of checking compliance.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

METHODS: Cotrimoxazole compliance was assessed in a cohort of TB patients who were attending four TB follow-up centres during the continuation phase of anti-TB treatment between months 4 and 6. Verbal verification of drug intake, physical verification of pill count balance, and urine trimethoprim detection by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry were used for assessing compliance.

RESULTS: Using urine trimethoprim detection as the gold standard for compliance, trimethoprim was detected in 82 (94%) of 87 patients in the cohort. Verbal verification of cotrimoxazole intake and objective pill count balances showed high sensitivity and positive predictive values compared with the gold standard of urine trimethoprim detection.

CONCLUSIONS: In a rural district in Malawi, compliance with cotrimoxazole as an adjunct to anti-tuberculosis treatment in HIV-infected TB patients was good, and can be assessed simply and practically by verbal verification and pill counts.
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Keywords: HIV infection; Malawi; compliance; cotrimoxazole; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Medecins sans Frontieres-Luxembourg, Thyolo District, Malawi 2: National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Malawi 3: Department of Infectious Diseases, Central Reference Hospital, Luxembourg 4: Department of Toxicology, National Laboratory of Health, University Center, Luxembourg

Publication date: 2001-09-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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