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Malar J. 2007 Oct 31;6:143.

The effect of HIV on morbidity and mortality in children with severe malarial anaemia.

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CDC-Uganda, Global AIDS Program, National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA. zcq2@UG.CDC.GOV



Malaria and HIV are common causes of mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. The effect of HIV infection on morbidity and mortality in children with severe malarial anaemia was assessed.


Children <5 years old were followed as part of a prospective cohort study to assess the transfusion-associated transmission of blood-borne pathogens at Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda. All children were hospitalized with a diagnosis of severe malarial anaemia requiring blood transfusion. Survival to different time points post-transfusion was compared between HIV-infected and uninfected children. Generalized estimating equations were used to analyse repeated measurement outcomes of morbidity, adjusting for confounders.


Of 847 children, 78 (9.2%) were HIV-infected. Median follow-up time was 162 days (inter-quartile range: 111, 169). HIV-infected children were more likely to die within 7 days (Hazard ratio [HR] = 2.86, 95% Confidence interval [CI] 1.30-6.29, P = 0.009) and within 28 days (HR = 3.70, 95% CI 1.91-7.17, P < 0.001) of an episode of severe malarial anaemia, and were more likely to die in the 6 months post-transfusion (HR = 5.70, 95% CI 3.54-9.16, P < 0.001) compared to HIV-uninfected children. HIV-infected children had more frequent re-admissions due to malaria within 28 days (Incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 3.74, 95% CI 1.41-9.90, P = 0.008) and within 6 months (IRR = 2.66, 95% CI 1.17 - 6.07, P = 0.02) post-transfusion than HIV-uninfected children.


HIV-infected children with severe malarial anaemia suffered higher all-cause mortality and malaria-related mortality than HIV-uninfected children. Children with HIV and malaria should receive aggressive treatment and further evaluation of their HIV disease, particularly with regard to cotrimoxazole prophylaxis and antiretroviral therapy.

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