Demographic and Clinical Characteristics of HIV-Infected Inpatients and Outpatients at a Cambodian Hospital

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A retrospective cross-sectional survey of 299 HIV-infected inpatients and outpatients was conducted between March 1999 and June 2000 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to define patient demographics and risk factors for HIV-1 infection, and to compare whether symptoms and opportunistic infections (OIs) differ by gender and site of patient care. The population represented one third of HIV-infected patients regularly receiving care at the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE. Over one quarter (26%) of the men were soldiers and 27% were farmers or laborers. Eighty-nine percent of the men had visited sex workers, 29% of men and women had unsafe injections in the past, and 18% of women reported a spouse who was HIV-positive. Eighty percent of patients presented with weight loss more than 10% from baseline. Seventy-two percent of patients were diagnosed with two or more concurrent OIs or conditions. Oral candidiasis (p = <0.001), abdominal lymphadenitis (p = 0.03), and two or more concurrent OIs (p = <0.001) were diagnosed more often among men than women. Multivariate logistic regression shows that patients who presented with weight loss more than 10% from baseline are more likely to have one or more OIs or conditions. The results of this survey suggest that the primary risk factor for HIV-infected men presenting to this care facility was visiting sex workers. The pattern of OIs and other HIV-associated conditions indicated that the majority of patients delayed seeking care at the hospital. HIV physicians in Cambodia should be aware of the likelihood for multiple OIs or conditions when patients present weight loss more than 10% from baseline.

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