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HIV–malaria co-infection: effects of malaria on the prevalence of HIV in East sub-Saharan Africa
Authors: Diego F Cuadros, Adam J Branscum and Philip H Crowley
Source: International Journal of Epidemiology, 2011;1–9 doi:10.1093/ije/dyq256
Topic(s): HIV/AIDS
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: JAN 2011
Abstract: Objective To examine the association between malaria and HIV prevalence in East sub-Saharan Africa. Methods Using large nationally representative samples of 19 735 sexually active adults from the 2003–04 HIV/AIDS indicator surveys conducted in Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania, and the atlas malaria project, we analysed the relationship between malaria and HIV prevalence adjusting for important socioeconomic and biological cofactors. Results In adjusted models, individuals who live in areas with high Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate (PfPR40.42) had increased estimated odds of being HIV positive than individuals who live in areas with low P. falciparum parasite rate (PfPR40.10) [men: estimated odds ratio (OR) 2.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.62–3.12; women: estimated OR 2.44, 95% CI 1.85–3.21]. Conclusion This is the first study to report malaria as a risk factor of concurrent HIV infection at the population level. According to our results, individuals who live in areas with high P. falciparum parasite rate have about twice the risk of being HIV positive compared with individuals who live in areas with low P. falciparum parasite rate. Our work emphasizes the need for field studies focused on quantifying the interaction among parasitic infections and risk of HIV infection, and studies to explore the impact of control interventions. Programmes focused on reducing malaria transmission will be important to address, especially in HIV-infected individuals. Keywords HIV, malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, Africa, Eastern