HIV and tuberculosis in a rural hospital in Kenya

  • JK Torrens


Objective: To document the incidence and prevalence of HIV infection and TB in patients attending a rural Kenyan hospital.
Design: A retrospective analysis of newly diagnosed HIV and TB-infected patients, HIV and TB-related admissions, and results of blood donor screening for HIV from 1993 to 1997.
Setting: PCEA Chogoria Hospital, Eastern Province, Kenya.

Subjects: Patients diagnosed with HIV infection and/or TB; all blood donors.Intervention: Diagnosis of pulmonary TB by Ziehl-Neelsen staining of sputum smears; diagnosis of smear negative and extrapulmonary TB based on consistent clinical and radiological features; HIV- 1 and HIV-2 testing of patients clinically suspected to be infected and all blood donors. Main outcome measures: Patients diagnosed with HIV and/or TB from 1993 to 1997; the number of HIV and TB related admissions and the associated mortality rates.
Results: A rising incidence of newly diagnosed HIV patients is documented, and an increasing number of TB patients are co-infected with HIV. The number of HIV inpatient episodes is increasing, against a background of falling inpatient and outpatient episodes. HIV seroprevalence among blood donors is stable at 3 - 4%. The proportion of TB patients suffering from extrapulmonary TB is increasing (p=0.011), probably as a result of the increase in HIV.
Conclusion: The HIV epidemic is having an increasing impact on rural Kenyans’ health, although background seroprevalence rates are apparently stable. TB patients co-infected with HIV are placing a growing burden on health care resources. All health care facilities
face a challenge as to how best to use limited resources to combat both these deadly diseases.


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eISSN: 0012-835X