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NATIONAL HIV/AIDS RESEARCH AND BEST PRACTICES CONFERENCE - page 58 / 103

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B10. Prevalence of HIV and AIDS-defining signs and symptoms in people presenting with chronic cough in Karonga District

Lumbani K. Munthali (5th Year Medical Student) College of Medicine,  Email: lmunthali@medcol.mw

Objective:  To determine prevalence of HIV and AIDS-related signs and symptoms in people presenting with chronic cough who do not have TB.

Design and methods:  It was carried out at four outpatient health facilities in Karonga. Pulmonary TB suspects aged more than 14 years were recruited. Patient details were recorded and sputum collection arranged. Patients were informed about the study, consented for HIV testing, interview and examination and pre- and post-test counseling by trained staff. Those found to be HIV positive were staged according to the WHO staging of HIV. Recruits were followed up to discover if they were then registered as TB patients.

Results:  146 patients were recruited. 27 had been registered as TB patients and were excluded from analyses. Of the 119 remaining (sex ratio 1:1, age distribution similar to TB patients) 113 were HIV tested. Crude HIV prevalence was 58%. Of the 66 who were HIV positive about 60% had other AIDS-defining signs or symptoms (eg chronic fever,herpes zoster, weight loss, chronic diarrhea) apart from the chronic cough.

Conclusion:  From the results it showed that approximately 18% of people presenting with chronic cough are started on TB treatment. The majority of the remainder are HIV positive and most have other AIDS-defining signs and symptoms. As part of the scale-up plans for the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) programme in Malawi, TB patients are being HIV tested and those found positive referred for ART. Thus chronic cough clinics could also be included as a recruitment ground for eligible cases than inclusion of those registered for TB treatment alone.

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