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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682


SOUZA, Guenael Freire de; BISCIONE, Fernando; GRECO, Dirceu Bartolomeu  and  RABELLO, Ana. Slow clinical improvement after treatment initiation in Leishmania/HIV coinfected patients. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2012, vol.45, n.2, pp.147-150. ISSN 0037-8682.

INTRODUCTION: In Brazil there is a large area of overlap of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) and HIV infection, which favored a increased incidence of coinfection Leishmania/HIV. METHODS: This study evaluated 65 consecutive patients with VL and their clinical response to treatment in two health care settings in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. RESULTS: At baseline, the clinical picture was similar between both groups, although diarrhea and peripheral lymphadenomegaly were more frequent in HIV-infected subjects. HIV-positive patients had lower median blood lymphocyte counts (686/mm3 versus 948/mm3p = 0.004) and lower values of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) (48IU/L versus 75.6IU/L p = 0.016) than HIV-negative patients. HIV-positive status (hazard ratio = 0.423, p = 0.023) and anemia (HR = 0.205, p = 0.002) were independent negative predictors of complete clinical response following antileishmanial treatment initiation. CONCLUSIONS: This study reinforces that all patients with VL should be tested for HIV infection, regardless of their clinical picture. This practice would allow early recognition of coinfection with initiation of antiretroviral therapy and, possibly, reduction in treatment failure.

Keywords : Visceral leishmaniasis; HIV; Coinfection; Treatment.

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