Tuberculosis and HIV coinfection in Europe: looking at one reality from two angles

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Abstract

Objective:

To better understand the epidemiology of tuberculosis (TB)/HIV coinfection in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) for planning of prevention and control measures.

Design:

Analysis of surveillance data.

Methods:

We performed an analysis of the 2014 TB and AIDS data to assess the burden of TB/HIV coinfection and we applied multivariable logistic regression to evaluate predictors for coinfection.

Results:

Twenty-one of 31 EU/EEA countries reported HIV testing results for 64.6% of the 32 892 notified TB cases. Of those, 1051 (4.9%) were reported as HIV-positive. Males [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.25; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07–1.46] and those in age group 25–44 years were more frequently coinfected. TB cases originating from the WHO African region had the highest proportion of coinfection (aOR 3.28 versus origin in EU/EEA; 95% CI 2.35–4.57). TB treatment was completed successfully by 57.9% of HIV-positive TB cases and 83.5% of HIV-negative cases. In 2014, 3863 cases of AIDS were reported by 29 EU/EEA countries; 691 (17.9%) of these cases presented with TB as an AIDS-defining illness. Persons who had acquired HIV through injecting drug use had higher odds of TB as an AIDS-defining illness (aOR 1.78 versus heterosexual route of transmission; 95% CI 1.37–2.32).

Conclusion:

TB/HIV coinfection is a substantial problem in the EU/EEA. The occurrence of TB in HIV-positive cases and the low TB treatment success rate suggest that international guidelines for prevention and treatment of TB in HIV-infected adults need to be better implemented.

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