The hallmark of HIV infection is immunosuppression which predisposes patients to opportunistic infections. These opportunistic infections are responsible for morbidity and mortality amongst people living with HIV/AIDS. This study therefore evaluated the occurrence and risk factors for opportunistic infections in HIV patients attending the Bamenda Regional hospital, Cameroon. A descriptive cross – sectional hospital based study involving 160 HIV infected patients was used. Data on socio – demographic, clinical and laboratory findings were obtained through history taking. The mean age of the participants was 41.5 ± 11 years with majority in the range of 33 – 50 years (80.0%) and were mostly females (66.9%). Out of the 160 participants 83 (51.9%) had opportunistic infections. The leading conditions were infective diarrhea greater than one month (32.2%), oral candidiasis (16.5%), tuberculosis (16.5%) and herpes zoster virus (14.9%). The risk factors for opportunistic infections identified in this study were belonging to World Health Organization clinical stage III – IV (68.8%), living in a household greater than 5 persons (46.9%), CD4 cell count less than 200 cells/µl (36.2%) and non – adherence to antiretroviral therapy (61.3%). In conclusion, the occurrence of opportunistic infections was 51.9% with protozoal infection being the most frequent type seen as infective diarrhea greater than one month. Thus there is a need for early detection and treatment of these opportunistic infections to improve the quality of life of the patients as well as the need for health education on the importance of personal and food hygiene on the prevention of common opportunistic infections.
Cite this article:
Emmanuel N Tufon., Awah D Bih, Mbi Alice. Occurrence and Risk Factors for Opportunistic Infections in HIV Patients Attending the Bamenda Regional Hospital, Cameroon. Int. J. Nur. Edu. and Research 2(4): Oct.- Dec. 2014; Page 381-384.