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HIV-seroprevalence among pulmonary tuberculosis patients in a tertiary care hospital in Douala, Cameroon

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A retrospective study was carried out at Douala General Hospital, Cameroon, between July 2007 and July 2011, to determine the prevalence of HIV infection among the pulmonary tuberculosis (pTB) patients and to compare epidemiological profiles with respect to TB/HIV co-infection. The cases of all patients aged 15 years and above and diagnosed with pTB during the study period were reviewed. Sociodemographic data, sputum examination for acid-fast bacilli, previous TB-treatment status, and HIV status were recorded. The chi-square or Fisher's exact tests were used to compare the proportions. The independent sample t-test was used to compare means for the quantitative data. Of the 383 pTB patients included, 56.1% were males. The mean age was 38.9 ± 13.9 years (range 15–95). The age group 25–44 years was most represented, with 55.6% of the patients, while the least represented age group was that of patients over 65 years. The mean age of the females (36.2 ± 13.6 years) was statistically lower than that of the males (41.1 ± 13.8 years). Smear-positive pTB was diagnosed in 208 cases (54.6%). All the patients were tested for HIV infection. The overall prevalence of HIV among the pTB patients was 50.4%. There were no significant differences between the HIV-positive and HIV-negative groups with respect to age, sex, sputum examination for acid-fast bacilli, and previous TB-treatment status. The results suggest that the TB/HIV co-infection rate in Cameroon is high. Intensification of the screening of HIV infection in the general population and early management of HIV disease, especially in young women, could reduce the incidence of TB.

Keywords: co-infection; epidemiology; health management; quantitative research; screening; sub-Saharan Africa

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Douala General Hospital,Internal Medicine, PO Box 4856Douala, Cameroon 2: Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences,University of Douala, PO Box 2701Douala, Cameroon

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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