oa Central African Journal of Medicine - HIV infection in newly diagnosed tuberculosis patients in Ndola, Zambia

Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Between June and December 1987, 131 patients newly admitted to the tuberculosis wards of the Ndola Central Hospital, underwent a history and examination, chest radiography, sputum examination and an enzyme linked immuno sorbent assay (ELISA) (Wellcome), for human immuno deficiency virus (HIV) antibodies. For all sera testing positive, the ELISA was repeated on two different occasions before HIV seropositivity was confirmed. Eighty-three patients (67pc) had tubercle bacilli on microscopy, whilst 76 patients (58pc) were HIV positive (7 patients had no sputum on admission). Nine patients (7pc) had signs of disseminated tuberculosis while the rest had evidence of pulmonary tuberculosis. Four patients (3pc) had normal chest radiography, whereas the remainder had intrapulmonary lesions in their films. No association was found between presence or absence of bacilli and HIV seropositivity (P>0.05). HIV seropositive tuberculosis patients were more likely to be younger and female when compared to HIV seronegative tuberculosis patients (P<0.05). It was concluded that HIV infection is common in newly diagnosed tuberculosis patients and that young and female patients are more likely to be HIV seropositive than their male counterparts.

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