Objective: To compare the proportion of tuberculosis patients tested for HIV infection, before and after introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the Netherlands, and to analyse predictive factors for performing an HTV-test in this population.
Method: Whether patients had been tested for HIV, was investigated in random samples consisting of 200 patients, who were registered in the Netherlands Tuberculosis Register (NTR) in the years 1995 and 2001 respectively.
Results: The number of patients tested for HIV was 29 out of 84 (16%) in 1995, and 39 out of 190 (21%) in 2001 (not significant). HIV-tests had been carried out most frequently among homeless patients (71%), drug addicts (56%) and alcohol-abusing patients (60%). Significant predictive factors for HIV testing were place of residence (city), localisation of disease (pulmonary tuberculosis in combination with extrapulmonary tuberculosis) and place of origin (sub-Saharan Africa).
Conclusion: Despite introduction of HAART during this period, in the Netherlands the proportion of tuberculosis patients tested for HIV did not significantly increase between 1995 and 2001. HIV testing was mainly limited to tuberculosis patients from risk groups.