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Concurrent Plasmodium infection, anemia and their correlates among newly diagnosed people living with HIV/AIDS in Northern Ethiopia

Beyene, Habtamu Bedimo, Tadesse, Mulualem, Disassa, Haimanot, Beyene, Melkamu B.
Acta tropica 2017 v.169 pp. 8-13
Human immunodeficiency virus, Plasmodium, anemia, antiretroviral agents, cross-sectional studies, disease control, females, income, insecticides, malaria, mixed infection, monitoring, patients, people, screening, secondary infection, therapeutics, Ethiopia
The magnitude of concurrent malaria infection and the impact it has on hematological abnormalities, such as anemia in people living with HIV/AIDS, is not well studied in Ethiopian set up. In this cross sectional study, therefore, we assessed the prevalence of concurrent malaria infection and anemia among highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) naive people living with HIV/AIDS between October, 2012 to May, 2013 in Northern Ethiopia. After obtaining consent, socio demographic, clinical, immunological and behavioural data was obtained. The overall prevalence of concomitant malaria infection was 17.4%. Rural residents and low to middle income class clients were more frequently co-infected with malaria (p<0.0001). Utilization of insecticide treated nets (p=0.0002) and co-trimoxazole intake (p=0.006) were protective factors against Plasmodium infection. The overall prevalence of anemia was also high (43%), being significantly higher (91.3%) in malaria positive people living with HIV/AIDS compared to malaria free HIV patients (32.8%) (p<0.0001). Female gender (p=0.011), history of opportunistic infections (P=0.0027) and late HIV stages (III and IV) (p=0.0001) were also significantly associated with anemia in HIV patients. In conclusion, concurrent malaria represents a common condition and there was a significant difference in the odds of anemia between malaria positive and negative people living with HIV/AIDS in Northern Ethiopia indicating a need for routine screening of people living with HIV/AIDS living in malaria endemic-areas and close monitoring of co-infected patients. Indeed utilization of ITNs, malaria prophylaxis and early HIV diagnosis are highly encouraged in people living with HIV/AIDS.