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Free Content Mortality and loss to follow-up among tuberculosis and HIV co-infected patients in rural southwestern Uganda

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BACKGROUND: We describe the presentation and outcome of care among patients with tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection from a prospective observational cohort in Uganda.

METHODS: We analysed basic demographics, CD4+ counts, time of initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART), clinical and haematological parameters and outcome of care of 386 patients enrolled between February 2007 and March 2010.

RESULTS: At presentation, 56.7% of the patients were sputum-positive, 89.9% had new TB infection, 62.7% had wasting, 78.7% were anaemic, 72.1% had a CD4+ count of <200 cells/mm3, 20.2% had pneumonia, 50.3% had oral thrush and 1.3% had Kaposi's sarcoma. Patients developing TB within 3 months of starting ART were less likely to have wasting, to be anaemic or to have a CD4+ count of <100 cells/mm3. The cure, default and death rates were respectively 54.3%, 24% and 16%. At 8 months, 53 (13.7%) were confirmed dead, 119 (30.8%) were lost to follow-up, 28 (7.3%) were transferred out and 1 (0.3%) had treatment failure. Mortality and loss to follow-up were associated with failure to start ART and having a CD4+ count of <200 cells/mm3.

CONCLUSION: In Uganda, TB-HIV patients present with severe immune suppression and are at increased risk of death and loss to follow-up, particularly those not on ART. There is need for early identification and improved follow-up of TB-HIV co-infected patients.
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Keywords: TB-HIV; loss to follow-up; mortality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Infectious Diseases Clinic, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda 2: Department of Community Health, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, Uganda 3: Mulago-Mbarara Teaching Hospitals Joint AIDS Programme, Uganda, Mbarara, Uganda 4: Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Publication date: 2012-10-01

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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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