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Free Content HIV infection among tuberculosis patients in Vietnam: prevalence and impact on tuberculosis notification rates

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BACKGROUND: Vietnam has an emerging human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic (estimated population prevalence 0.5%), but valid data on HIV prevalence among tuberculosis (TB) patients are limited. Recent increases in TB notification rates among young adults may be related to HIV.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of HIV infection among smear-positive TB patients in six provinces with relatively high HIV population prevalence in Vietnam.

METHODS: All patients who registered for treatment of smear-positive TB during the fourth quarter of 2005 were offered HIV testing.

RESULTS: Of the 1217 TB patients included in the study, 100 (8.2%) tested HIV-positive. HIV prevalence varied between 2% and 17% in the provinces, and was strongly associated with age < 35 years, injecting drug use, commercial sex work and a history of sexually transmitted disease. Among men aged 15–34 years, the rate of notification of new smear-positive TB that was attributable to HIV infection varied from 3–4 per 100 000 population in mainly rural provinces to 20–42/100 000 in provinces with rapid industrial and commercial development.

CONCLUSION: Among TB patients in Vietnam, HIV infection is concentrated in drug users, as well as in specific geographic areas where it has considerable impact on TB notification rates among men aged 15–34 years.
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Keywords: HIV; Vietnam; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: National Hospital of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, Hanoi, Vietnam 2: Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam 3: Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Publication date: 2010-08-01

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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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