Background: A complex interaction exists between tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection at an individual and community level. Limited knowledge about the rate of HIV infection in TB patients and the general population compromises the planning, resource allocation and prevention and control activities. The aim of this study was to determine the rate of HIV infection in TB patients and its correlation with the rate HIV infection in pregnant women attending antenatal care (ANC) in Southern Ethiopia.
Methods: All TB patients and pregnant women attending health institutions for TB diagnosis and treatment and ANC were consecutively enrolled in 2004 - 2005. TB diagnosis, treatment and HIV testing were done according to the national guidelines. Blood samples were collected for anonymous HIV testing. We used univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine the risk factors for HIV infection and linear regression analysis to determine the correlation between HIV infection in TB patients and pregnant women.
Results: Of the 1308 TB patients enrolled, 226 (18%) (95%CI: 15.8 - 20.0) were HIV positive. The rate of HIV infection was higher in TB patients from urban 25% (73/298) than rural areas 16% (149/945) [AOR = 1.78, 95%CI: 1.27-2.48]. Of the 4199 pregnant women attending ANC, 155 (3.8%) [95%CI: 3.2-4.4] were HIV positive. The rate of HIV infection was higher in pregnant women from urban (7.5%) (80/1066) than rural areas (2.5%) (75/3025) [OR = 3.19, 95% CI: 2.31-4.41]. In the study participants attending the same health institutions, the rate of HIV infection in pregnant women correlated with the rate of HIV infection in TB patients (R2 = 0.732).
Conclusion: The rate of HIV infection in TB patients and pregnant women was higher in study participants from urban areas. The rate of HIV infection in TB patients was associated with the prevalence of HIV infection in pregnant women attending ANC.