The epidemiology of HIV-associated tuberculosis in rural Cambodia

SETTING: Banteay Meanchey Province, Cambodia.
OBJECTIVE: The World Health Organization recommends human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing for all tuberculosis (TB) patients and TB screening for all HIV-infected persons in countries with a TB-HIV syndemic. We sought to determine whether evidence supports implementing these recommendations in South-East Asia.
DESIGN: We conducted a cross-sectional survey and retrospective cohort study of patients newly diagnosed with HIV or TB from October 2003 to February 2005 to identify risk factors for HIV infection and TB, and for death during TB treatment.
RESULTS: HIV infection was diagnosed in 216/574 (38%) TB patients. TB disease was found in 124/450 (24%) HIV-infected persons. No sub-groups of patients had a low risk of HIV infection or TB. Of 180 TB patients with HIV infection and a recorded treatment outcome, 49 (27%) died compared to 17/357 (5%) without HIV infection (relative risk [RR] 5.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.1–8.7). HIV-infected TB patients with smear-negative pulmonary disease died less frequently than those with smear-positive pulmonary disease (RR 0.39, 95%CI 0.16–0.93).
CONCLUSIONS: No sub-groups of patients had low risk for HIV infection or TB, and mortality among HIV-infected TB patients was high. These data justify using the WHO global TB-HIV recommendations in South-East Asia. Urgent interventions are needed to reduce the high mortality rate in HIV-infected TB patients.

Document's year of publication: 2006-2010

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