African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine
On-line version ISSN 2071-2936
Print version ISSN 2071-2928
ADELEKE, Olukayode A.; YOGESWARAN, Parimalaranie and WRIGHT, Graham. Intestinal helminth infections amongst HIV-infected adults in Mthatha General Hospital, South Africa. Afr. j. prim. health care fam. med. (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.7, n.1, pp.1-7. ISSN 2071-2936. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v7i1.910.
BACKGROUND: In South Africa, studies on the prevalence of intestinal helminth co-infection amongst HIV-infected patients as well as possible interactions between these two infections are limited. AIM: To investigate the prevalence of intestinal helminth infestation amongst adults living with HIV or AIDS at Mthatha General Hospital SETTING: Study participants were recruited at the outpatient department of Mthatha General Hospital, Mthatha, South Africa. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted between October and December 2013 amongst consecutive consenting HIV-positive adult patients. Socio-demographic and clinical information were obtained using data collection forms and structured interviews. Stool samples were collected to investigate the presence of helminths whilst blood samples were obtained for the measurement of CD4+ T-cell count and viral load. RESULTS: Data were obtained on 231 participants, with a mean age of 34.9 years, a mean CD4 count of 348 cells/µL and a mean viral load of 4.8 log10 copies/mL. Intestinal helminth prevalence was 24.7%, with Ascaris Lumbricoides (42.1%) the most prevalent identified species. Statistically significant association was found between CD4 count of less than 200 cells/µL and helminth infection (p = 0.05). No statistically significant association was found between intestinal helminth infection and the mean CD4 count (p = 0.79) or the mean viral load (p = 0.98). CONCLUSION: A high prevalence of intestinal helminth infections was observed amongst the study population. Therefore, screening and treatment of helminths should be considered as part of the management of HIV and AIDS in primary health care.