Pulmonary tuberculosis among people living with HIV/AIDS attending care and treatment in rural northern Tanzania
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background: Tuberculosis is the commonest opportunistic infection and the number one cause of death in HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries. To address the extent of the tuberculosis HIV coinfection in rural Tanzania we conducted a cross sectional study including HIV/AIDS patients attending care and treatment clinic from September 2006 to March 2007. Methods: Sputum samples were collected for microscopy, culture and drug susceptibility testing. Chest X-ray was done for those patients who consented. Blood samples were collected for CD4+ T cells count. Results: The prevalence of tuberculosis was 20/233 (8.5%). Twenty (8.5%) sputum samples were culture positive. Eight of the culture positive samples (40%) were smear positive. Fifteen (75%) of these patients neither had clinical symptoms nor chest X-ray findings suggestive of tuberculosis. Nineteen isolates (95%) were susceptible to rifampicin, isoniazid, streptomycin and ethambutol (the first line tuberculosis drugs). One isolate (5%) from HIV/tuberculosis coinfected patients was resistant to isoniazid. No cases of multi- drug resistant tuberculosis were identified. Conclusion: We found high prevalence of tuberculosis disease in this setting. Chest radiograph suggestive of tuberculosis and clinical symptoms of fever and cough were uncommon findings in HIV/tuberculosis coinfected patients. Tuberculosis can occur at any stage of CD4+T cells depletion.