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Objectives: To determine the prevalence and type of hearing disorders in HIV positive patients not on anti - retroviral drugs (ARVs) and correlate this with the world health Organization (WHO) stage of HIV disease and CD4 positive cell counts.
Design: Case control study.
Setting: comprehensive care clinic (CCC) and voluntary counseling and testing centre at Kenyatta National Hospital.
Subjects: One hundread and ninety four HIV positive patients attending CCC and 124 HIV negative subjects recruited from voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) centre.
Results: Hearing loss (HL) was present in 33.5% of HIV positive compared to 8.1% in negative subjects. No gender bias in HL Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) was the most common and the frequencies most ‘affected were four and eight kHz
Conclusion: Hearing loss is more prevalent in HIV positive individuals not on anti - retroviral drugs than negative normal subjects. Low CD4 cell count and advanced HIV diseases were associated with increased chance of having a hearing loss. Otological care should be part of the comprehensive care of HIV positive patients.