Objectives: To determine the occurrence of opportunistic infection (OI) in HIV-positive patients and to identify any risk factors which may be associated with such.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of all patients attending the HIV out-patient clinic was conducted. Their hospital notes were examined between January 1 and December 31, 2007 inclusive, to identify any occurrence of opportunistic infection. In addition, the patient list was also cross-referenced with all patients hospitalized on the medical wards during the same time period. Clinical and demographic data were collected for all participants. The occurrence of opportunistic infections and the variables of age, gender, CD4 counts and viral loads: (first ever, last in 2007 and at diagnosis of OI [or within six months]), the use of primary and secondary prophylaxis, the discontinuation of prophylactic regimens and the HAART regime at diagnosis of an OI and the diagnostic and treatment protocols of these infections were calculated.
Results: Six hundred and three patients participated in the study and 4.7% (n = 28) were found to have experienced at least one opportunistic infection in 2007. Significant associations were found between first and last CD4 cell count, viral load in 2007, year of entry into the clinic and death (p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Opportunistic infections continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality in the HIVpatient population in this study. Earlier entry to treatment facilities and the use of HAART and appropriate prophylaxis can reduce this impact and lead to improved quality of life for HIV-positive individuals.