Background In resource-constrained settings, people living with HIV (PLWH) treated for tuberculosis (TB) despite negative bacteriologic tests have a higher mortality than those treated with positive tests. Many PLWH are treated without bacteriologic testing; their mortality compared to those with bacteriologic testing is uncertain. Methods We conducted an observational cohort study among PLWH ≥ 15 years of age who initiated TB treatment at clinical sites affiliated with four regions of the International epidemiology Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA) consortium from 2012-2014: Caribbean, Central and South America, and Central, East, and West Africa. The primary exposure of interest was the TB bacteriologic test status at TB treatment initiation: positive, negative, or no test result. The hazard for death in the 12 months following TB treatment initiation was estimated using the Cox proportional hazard model, adjusted for patient- and site-level factors. Missing covariates were multiply imputed. Results Among 2,091 PLWH included, the median age at TB treatment initiation was 36 years, 44% were female, 53% had CD4 counts ≤ 200 cells/mm3, and 52% were on antiretroviral treatment (ART). Compared to patients with positive bacteriologic tests, the adjusted hazard for death was higher among patients with no test results (HR 1.56, 95% CI 1.08-2.26) but not different than those with negative tests (HR 1.28, 95% CI 0.91-1.81). Older age was also associated with a higher hazard for death, while being on ART, having a higher CD4 count, West Africa region, and tertiary facility level were associated with lower hazards for death. Conclusion PLWH treated for TB with no bacteriologic test results were more likely to die than those treated with positive tests, underscoring the importance of TB bacteriologic diagnosis in resource-constrained settings. Research is needed to understand the causes of death among PLWH treated for TB in the absence of positive bacteriologic tests.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)