HIV seropositivity and tuberculosis in a rural Malawi hospital

P. Kelly, G. Burnham, C. Radford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was undertaken to determine the extent to which human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has increased hospital admissions for tuberculosis (TB) in a rural population of southern Malawi. The notes and chest X-rays of TB patients admitted to Malamulo hospital in 1983 and 1984, before the recognition of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Malawi, were compared with those of patients admitted in 1987 and 1988. We found a 160% increase in TB admissions between the 2 periods. Extrapulmonary TB, especially pleural TB, was much commoner in 1987-1988 and occurred in a younger age group. HIV seroreactivity was measured in a third group of 152 tuberculosis patients admitted during 1988-1989. HIV seropositivity was found in 52% of all tuberculosis admissions and in 75% of those with extrapulmonary disease. There was no difference in clinical response to TB therapy between the HIV seropositive patients and those who were seronegative. Extrapulmonary TB should be considered in all HIV seropositive patients, especially in areas where the prevalence of TB is high. Health personnel involved in TB programmes where HIV and TB infections are prevalent should plan for a large increase in the TB case load secondary to the HIV pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-727
Number of pages3
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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