Objective: Malaria and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) are the major medical challenges of priority faced by the sub-Saharan African countries in general and Ethiopia in particular. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of HIV and malaria infections among febrile illness patients.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 1, 2014 to May 30, 2015 at Kolla-Diba Health Center, Northwest Ethiopia. After obtaining informed consent, blood samples were collected from each febrile patient for the laboratory determination of HIV and malaria infections. Sociodemographic data and other associated factors for HIV and malaria infections were collected using a structured questionnaire.
Results: Of the total of 384 febrile illness patients, 23.7% (91/384) were positive for Plasmodium species. Of these, the most prevalent was P. falciparum, 56.0% (51/91), followed by Plasmodium vivax infection, 38.5% (35/91). In this study, 13.8% (53/384) of the participants were positive for HIV. Furthermore, 3.13% (12/91) of the participants were coinfected with HIV and malaria. According to the findings of the present study, genital ulcer patients and those who do not use bed net were significantly associated with HIV and malaria infections, respectively.
Conclusion: Malaria and HIV are still common challenges independently occurring in the study area. The coexistence of the two diseases cannot be underestimated. Hence, health professionals should strengthen the provider initiative counseling and testing (PICT) program as a means of HIV/AIDS prevention and control strategy. Furthermore, approaching the febrile illness patients for both malaria and HIV diagnoses may help in having a joint HIV and malaria prevention and control strategy.