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HIV: Scientists want screening for and management of 3 diseases improved

Feb. 3, 2022
HIV: Scientists want screening for and management of 3 diseases improved
Article snip from the BMC journal website.

Researchers from Ifakara Health Institute and partner institutions have emphasized the importance of improving the screening for and management of three diseases which in their latest cohort study conducted for over one decade in rural Tanzania have been found to be the common causes of death among people living with HIV. They are tuberculosis, heart and kidney diseases.

The researchers - Dr. Getrud Mollel, Lilian Moshi, Olivia Kitau, Herry Mapesi & Maja Weisser from Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania and their five counterparts: Hoda Hazem, Anna Eichenberger, Tracy Glass, Daniel Henry Paris & Fiona Vanobberghen from the Swiss TPH and University of Basel, Switzerland - issued the call when concluding their research findings published on January 6th 2022 in the BMC Infectious Diseases Journal bearing the title: “Causes of death and associated factors over a decade of follow-up in a cohort of people living with HIV in rural Tanzania.”

“Incidence of HIV-related mortality was higher than that of non-HIV-related mortality, even in more recent years, likely due to late presentation. Tuberculosis was the leading specific COD [cause of death] identified, particularly soon after enrolment, while in later calendar years cardiovascular [heart conditions & diseases] and renal [associated with kidney] causes emerged as important, emphasising the need for improved screening and management,” they noted.

The researchers followed up close to 10,000 HIV patients attending the Chronic Diseases Clinic of Ifakara, Morogoro, Tanzania who are enrolled in the Kilombero and Ulanga Antiretroviral Cohort (KIULARCO) between 2005 and 2019.

“The most common COD [cause of death] were tuberculosis (…27%), non-AIDS-related infections (…15%), and other AIDS-related infections (…12%),” the report. The also added that cardiovascular and renal deaths emerged as important causes of death in later calendar years, with 27% of deaths in 2018 linked to cardiovascular causes with most deaths (51%) occurring within the first six months following enrolment.

According to the researchers, nearly half of HIV-related deaths occur in east and southern Africa, yet data on causes of death are scarce, therefore they embarked on the study to determine causes of death and associated factors among people living with HIV in rural Tanzania to fill the knowledge gap.

Read their full research findings yourself: Causes of death and associated factors over a decade of follow-up in a cohort of people living with HIV in rural Tanzania