Level of understanding of co-trimoxazole use among HIV infected, recurrent pulmonary tuberculosis suspects at a national referral tuberculosis clinic in Kampala, Uganda: a qualitative analysis.
Background: Co-trimoxazole use is the standard of care for preventing Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia in sub-Saharan Africa but implementation remains slow. Co-trimoxazole is self- administered with uncertain adherence. Knowledge of co-trimoxazole use among HIV infected persons is unknown.
Objectives: To assess knowledge, attitudes and practices of co-trimoxazole use among HIV infected adults evaluated for recurrent PTB in Kampala, Uganda.
Methods: A qualitative study utilizing 5 focus group discussions among 30 HIV infected PTB suspects at the national referral tuberculosis treatment centre in Kampala.
Results: Males and females had similar median ages. 80% were currently on co-trimoxazole and 50% of participants were on HAART. Majority of participants defined co-trimoxazole as an analgesic. Few noted co-trimoxazole was a drug to treat cough and chest pain. However, few responses revealed that co-trimoxazole prevents opportunistic diseases among PLHIV. Most of participants believed HAART and anti-TB drugs work as co-trimoxazole thus it should not be taken together with them. This belief may lead to increased risk of opportunistic infections, morbidity and mortality.
Conclusions: We revealed gaps in understanding of co-trimoxazole use among study participants. We therefore recommend that more facts about co-trimoxazle as prophylaxis against P. jirovecii, bacterial and diarrheal pathogens should be incorporated in VCT fact sheets.
Key words: Recurrent tuberculosis; HIV; Co-trimoxazole use; Chemoprophylaxis; Adherence