Background: Opportunistic intestinal parasitic infections are the major public health problem among human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) patients. In the absence of anti-retroviral therapy (ART), HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries such as Ethiopia continue to suffer from the consequences of intestinal parasites. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of opportunistic and other intestinal parasites among on-ART HIV/AIDS patients.
Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted from December 2015 to January2016 among pre-ART and on-ART adult HIV/AIDS patients at University of Gondar Hospital, northwest Ethiopia. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographic and associated risk factors. Systematic random sampling was used to select the study participants. Stool samples were collected and processed using a direct, wet-mount, formol-ether concentration technique and modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining technique. The CD4 counts were estimated by using the BD FACS Count system. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS 20 software.
Results: A total of 150 study participants (48ARTnaïve and102 on ART) were included in the study. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections was 45.3% – 25.3% in pre-ART patients and 20% in on-ART patients. Two thirds (8/12) of opportunistic parasitic infections were found in the ART-naïve patients and significantly associated with CD4 counts <200 cells/mm3. Those who have no toilet [AOR=5.21, 95% CI: 1.82, 16.03], source of water from stream [AOR = 2.8; 95% CI: 1.05, 7.72], who have diarrhea [AOR = 11.38; 95% CI: 4.69, 15.61], WHO stage III [AOR =5.3; 95% CI: 2.47, 11.56] and ART status [AOR = 4.2; 95% CI: 2.02, 8.77] were significantly associated with the prevalence of intestinal parasites.
Key words: Opportunistic intestinal parasites, CD4 T-cells, Anti-retroviral therapy, diarrhea, Gondar