. 2024 Apr 23:13:e006.
doi: 10.25259/IJMA_683. eCollection 2024. Prevalence, Epidemiological, and Clinical Profile of Patients Coinfected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Tuberculosis in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Context in Health Facilities in the East Region, Cameroon

Onana Akoa François Anicet 1 2 , Charles Kouanfack 3 4 , Ulrich Dama 1 2 , Claude Ngwayu Nkfusai 5 , Jean Ndibi Abanda 1 2 , Désiré Tchoffo 1 , Pearl Nsom Mbu 6 , Pierre Yassa Yoniene 7


Background and objective: Suspected cases of tuberculosis (TB) are identified for confirmation by bacteriological tests through clinical screening for TB in people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during routine visits or when antiretrovirals (ARVs) are dispensed. Our aim is to determine the prevalence and describe the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of HIV-TB coinfected patients in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) setting in health facilities in the East Region of Cameroon. This study addresses knowledge gaps on HIV-TB coinfection during COVID-19, aiming to provide insights into the interaction and impact of HIV, TB, and COVID-19 on individuals' health.
Methods: This was an observational study. It involved two retrospective cohorts of HIV-TB coinfected patients before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted manual reviews of the medical records and antiretroviral therapy (ART) and TB registers of 262 patients. These patients were coinfected with HIV and TB during the period from April 2019 to April 2021 in 11 health facilities in the East Cameroon health region. The sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of the cases were extracted from the consultation registers and entered into the KoBo Collect application, then analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software, version 25.
Results: In this study of 262 HIV-TB coinfection cases, 60.3% occurred before COVID-19, and 39.7% during the pandemic. HIV-TB coinfection prevalence among HIV patients was 1%. Patients averaged 39.3 years in age, with a significant shift in sex ratios from 0.65 to 1.33 between pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 cohorts. Education varied, with 45.8% having secondary education, 44.8% with primary, 2.4% having higher education, and 7.1% having none. Most (78.9%) had professional occupations, and 53.7% lived in rural areas. The majority were newly diagnosed (96.3% before COVID-19; 93.3% during COVID-19), with 3.7% relapses and 4.2% discontinuing treatment. Most had pulmonary TB (84.9%) and were aware of treatment duration (94.6%). About 65.4% experienced treatment-related adverse events. Regarding family support, 69.3% received help with medication. However, the concern was 80.6% did not adhere to anti-COVID-19 measures.
Conclusion and global health implications: Gender was significantly associated with compliance. Most patients were on treatment, but a small percentage had discontinued it. Patients need to be made aware of the importance of complying with anti-COVID-19 barrier measures to prevent a potential worsening of the health situation. Moreover, clinical and biological monitoring needs to be stepped up throughout the course of anti-TB treatment.

Keywords: Cameroon; Coinfection; Coronavirus Disease 2019; Prevalence; Tuberculosis/Human Immunodeficiency Virus.