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AIDS. 2006 Aug 1;20(12):1605-12.

Burden of tuberculosis in an antiretroviral treatment programme in sub-Saharan Africa: impact on treatment outcomes and implications for tuberculosis control.

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Desmond Tutu HIV Centre, Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, South Africa.



To determine burden and risk factors for tuberculosis (TB) in an antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme and its impact on ART outcomes.


Prospective cohort study.


Prevalent TB was assessed at baseline and incident TB was ascertained prospectively over 3 years among 944 patients accessing a community-based ART programme in South Africa.


At enrollment, median CD4 cell count was 96 cells/microl and 52% of patients had a previous history of TB. Prevalent TB (current antituberculosis treatment or active TB) was present in 25% and was strongly associated with advanced immunodeficiency. During 782 person-years of ART, 81 cases of TB were diagnosed. The incidence was 22.1/100 person-years during the first 3 months of ART and decreased to an average of 4.5/100 person-years during the second and third years. In multivariate analysis, risk of incident TB during follow-up was only associated with the current absolute CD4 cell count at that time point; an increase of 100 cells/mul was associated with a 25% lower risk (P = 0.007). Although prevalent and incident TB were associated with greater than two-fold increased mortality risk, they did not compromise immunological and virological outcomes among survivors at 48 weeks.


Late initiation of ART was associated with a major burden of TB in this ART programme. TB reduced survival but did not impair immunovirological outcomes. Reductions in TB incidence during ART were dependent on CD4 cell count; however, after 3 years of treatment, rates were still 5- to 10-fold higher than among non-HIV-infected people. Earlier initiation of ART may reduce this burden of TB.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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