Objectives: To describe the prevalence and predictive factors of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among tuberculosis (TB) patients in The Netherlands during the period 1993-2001.
Design: Data were obtained from the national surveillance register of all patients notified with TB (all forms) during the period of the study. In addition, records or discharge notes were checked of a random sample of 200 TB patients notified in 1995 and another 200 in 2001.
Results: Of 13 269 patients diagnosed with TB, 542 were HIV-positive (4.1%). Prevalence was 4.1% in 1993-1995, 3.8% in 1996-1998 and 4.4% in 1999-2001. The highest prevalence was observed among drug users (29.2%), homeless patients (20.1%) and patients residing illegally in the country (9.1%). Compared with the period 1993-1995, the relative risk of HIV infection in the periods 1996-1998 and 1999-2001 decreased significantly for drug using patients (P = 0.006), and increased for patients from African countries (P < 0.001). According to patient records, 29/184 (16%) had been tested for HIV in 1995 and 39/190 (21%) in 2001 (P = 0.289); 18 patients tested positive (4.8%).
Conclusion: Although the prevalence of HIV among TB patients in The Netherlands remained stable between 1993 and 2001, the distribution of risk groups changed over this period.