Incidence of Opportunistic Infections in HIV Patients at Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Adherence Unit, Islamabad Pakistan

Main Article Content

Shah Fahad Qayyum
Hamza Khan
Gul Rukh


Background: Opportunistic infections (OIs) pose a considerable threat to HIV-infected individuals, especially in regions with varied environmental exposures and healthcare resources. The prevalence and severity of these infections are influenced by factors such as local pathogen profiles, host genetics, and the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Objective: This study aimed to determine the prevalence and types of opportunistic infections among male HIV-positive patients at an ART adherence unit in Islamabad, Pakistan, and to compare these with regional trends.

Methods: An institution-based cross-sectional study design was utilized, encompassing a review of medical records from 533 male HIV-positive patients over a seven-month period. Data collection focused on demographic details, infection types, and treatment regimens. Exclusion criteria included incomplete files and unspecified OIs. The analysis was performed using SPSS version 25, with frequencies and percentages calculated to assess the prevalence of each infection type.

Results: Out of 533 patients, 149 (27.95%) developed at least one opportunistic infection. Respiratory infections were most common, with tuberculosis (TB) found in 25 (16.77%) patients. Skin-related infections were observed in 37 (24.83%) patients, primarily associated with intravenous drug use. Oral thrush was present in 11 (7.38%) patients. Other infections included urinary tract infections in 5 (3.35%) patients and various less common OIs.

Conclusion: The study revealed that OIs remain a significant health challenge for HIV-positive individuals, with a notable prevalence of respiratory and skin infections. Early and sustained ART, along with preventive healthcare measures, are crucial in managing and reducing OIs.

Article Details

How to Cite
Qayyum, S. F., Khan, H., & Rukh, G. (2024). Incidence of Opportunistic Infections in HIV Patients at Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Adherence Unit, Islamabad Pakistan. Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Research, 4(1), 1018–1022.
Author Biographies

Hamza Khan, Bacha Khan Medical College Swabi Pakistan.

Trainee Medical Officer, Department of General Surgery, MTI.

Gul Rukh, Bacha Khan Medical College Swabi Pakistan.

House Officer, Department of General Surgery, MTI.


Arefaine ZG, Abebe S, Bekele E, Adem A, Adama Y, H. Brockmeyer N, et al. Incidence and predictors of HIV related opportunistic infections after initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy at Ayder Referral Hospital, Mekelle, Ethiopia: a retrospective single centered cohort study. PloS one. 2020;15(4):e0229757.

Chepkondol GK, Jolly PE, Yatich N, Mbowe O, Jaoko WG. Types and prevalence of HIV-related opportunistic infections/conditions among HIV-positive patients attending Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. African Health Sciences. 2020;20(2):615-24.

Dagnaw M, Fekadu H, Gebre Egziabher A, Yesfue T, Indracanti M, Tebeje A. Incidence of opportunistic infections and its predictors among HIV/AIDS patients on antiretroviral therapy in Gondar University Comprehensive and Specialized Hospital, Ethiopia. HIV Research & Clinical Practice. 2023;24(1):2187013.

Dagnaw Tegegne K, Cherie N, Tadesse F, Tilahun L, Kassaw MW, Biset G. Incidence and predictors of opportunistic infections among adult HIV infected patients on anti-retroviral therapy at Dessie comprehensive specialized hospital, Ethiopia: a retrospective follow-up study. HIV/AIDS-Research and Palliative Care. 2022:195-206.

Dembelu M, Kote M, Gilano G, Mohammed T. Incidence and predictors of reoccurrence of opportunistic infection among adult HIV/AIDS patients attending ART clinic at public health facilities in Arba Minch town, southern Ethiopia: A retrospective cohort study. PloS one. 2021;16(12):e0261454.

Dembelu M, Woseneleh T. Prevalence of and factors associated with reoccurrence of opportunistic infections among adult hiv/aids patients attending the art clinic at public health facilities in arba minch town, southern Ethiopia. HIV/AIDS-Research and Palliative Care. 2021:867-76.

Fite MB, Aga DJ. Spectrum of Opportunistic Disease and Associated Factors among Patients Attending ART Clinic, Nekemte Specialized Hospital, Western Ethiopia. bioRxiv. 2020:2020.10. 06.327668.

Getachew T, Hailu T, Alemu M. Prevalence of Opportunistic Intestinal Parasitic Infections Among HIV/AIDS Patients Before and After Commencement of Antiretroviral Treatment at Felege Hiwot Referral Hospital: A Follow-up Study. HIV/AIDS-Research and Palliative Care. 2021:767-74.

Getaneh Y, Getnet F, Rashid A, Kang L, Chu Q, Li S, et al. The spectrum of opportunistic infections and malignancies among women on antiretroviral therapy in Ethiopia. Emerging Microbes & Infections. 2023;12(2):2271065.

Getawa S, Fentahun A, Adane T, Melku M. Antiretroviral treatment failure and associated factors among HIV-infected children on antiretroviral therapy: a retrospective study. HIV/AIDS-Research and Palliative Care. 2021:229-37.

Girma D, Dejene H, Geleta LA, Tesema M, Bati F. Time to occurrence, predictors, and patterns of opportunistic infections incidence among HIV-positive patients attending Antiretroviral Therapy Clinic of Salale University Comprehensive Specialized Hospital: A retrospective cohort study. Medicine. 2022;101(29).

Hailu Gebru T, Hagos Mekonen H, Gemechu K, Gebremedhin HT, Tadesse B, Tesfamichael YA. Predictors of Opportunistic Infections among HIV-infected Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy: A Cross-Sectional Study. Clinical nursing research. 2023:10547738231164394.

Hailu T, Hagos H, Gemechu K, Tesfay H, Tadesse B. Prevalence of Opportunistic Infections and Associated Factors Among HIV-infected Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy in Eastern Zone of Tigray, Ethiopia: A Cross-sectional Study. 2020.

Kibwengo CF, Kabalimu TK, Sungwa EE. Opportunistic Infections and Associated Factors among HIV Infected Patients on Anti-Retroviral Treatment at Bombo Hospital in Tanga Region, Tanzania. African Journal of Health Sciences. 2022;35(3):252-62.

Mekonnen GB, Birhane BM, Engdaw MT, Kindie W, Ayele AD, Wondim A. Predictors of a high incidence of opportunistic infections among HIV-infected children receiving antiretroviral therapy at Amhara regional state comprehensive specialized hospitals, Ethiopia: A multicenter institution-based retrospective follow-up study. Frontiers in Pediatrics. 2023;11:1107321.

Melkamu MW, Gebeyehu MT, Afenigus AD, Hibstie YT, Temesgen B, Petrucka P, et al. Incidence of common opportunistic infections among HIV-infected children on ART at Debre Markos referral hospital, Northwest Ethiopia: a retrospective cohort study. BMC infectious diseases. 2020;20(1):1-12.

Mequanente D, Srinivasan P, Mallika G, Thamimul Ansari P, Wale M. Incidence of Opportunistic Infections among HIV-infected Children on ART at Gondar University Specialized Hospital, Ethiopia. Indian Journal of Science and Technology. 2022;15(34):1675-82.

Núñez I, Crabtree-Ramirez B, Shepherd BE, Sterling TR, Cahn P, Veloso VG, et al. Late-onset opportunistic infections while receiving anti-retroviral therapy in Latin America: burden and risk factors. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2022;122:469-75.

Shaw J, Matin N. Opportunistic infections in HIV. Medicine. 2022;50(5):294-7.

Tewachew AS, Mekonnen WN, Mekuria AD, Amare YE. Determinants of opportunistic infections among hiv-positive patients on haart in debre berhan referral hospital, north shoa zone, ethiopia, 2020: A case–control study. HIV/AIDS-Research and Palliative Care. 2021:337-47.

Wachamo D, Bonja F. Magnitude of opportunistic infections and associated factors among HIV-positive adults on art at selected public hospitals in Sidama National Regional State, Southern Ethiopia. HIV/AIDS-Research and Palliative Care. 2020:479-87.

Weldearegawi TZ, Gerensea H, Berihu H, Gidey G, Welearegay MZ. The magnitude of opportunistic infections and associated factors in HIV-infected adults on antiretroviral therapy in southern zone Tigray, Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study. The Pan African Medical Journal. 2020;35.

Woldegeorgis BZ, Diro CW, Yohannes B, Kerbo AA, Asgedom YS. Incidence and predictors of opportunistic infections in adolescents and adults after the initiation of antiretroviral therapy: A 10-year retrospective cohort study in Ethiopia. Frontiers in Public Health. 2022;10:1064859.

Woldegeorgis BZ, Zekarias Z, Adem BG, Obsa MS, Kerbo AA. Prevalence and determinants of opportunistic infections among HIV-infected adults receiving antiretroviral therapy in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in Medicine. 2023;10:1087086.

Wondifraw EB, Tefera BD, Zeleke M, Nebyu S, Tilahun L, Tefera Z. Incidence and predictors of common opportunistic infection among HIV-infected children attending antiretroviral treatment clinic at Northeast Ethiopia, public hospitals 2022: A multicenter retrospective follow-up study. Annals of Medicine and Surgery. 2022;84:104910.

Zenebe Haftu A, Desta AA, Bezabih NM, Bayray Kahsay A, Kidane KM, Zewdie Y, et al. Incidence and factors associated with treatment failure among HIV infected adolescent and adult patients on second-line antiretroviral therapy in public hospitals of Northern Ethiopia: multicenter retrospective study. PloS one. 2020;15(9):e0239191.