Study of the rates of co-infection of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis in Urbanized regions within Sub-Saharan Africa
Airborne communication of mycobacterium tuberculosis is responsible for the evolution of primary tuberculosis (TB) in immunostable and immunocomprimsed patients (Aaron, et al. 2004). In 1993, the center for disease control classification identified that TB was the defining illness in HIV infected patients, as it is typically the first symptom bearing illness to afflict the patient (Aaron, et al. 2004). TB cases have dramatically increased in the global setting in recent, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, illustrating the ...view middle of the document...
In the context of vulnerability to an infectious disease most initial approaches dealt with it focusing primarily on the high risk groups: Sex workers, miners, truck drivers and others whose behaviors were considered ‘risky’ (Bates, et al. 2004). This approach lacks the accountability of the socio-economic factors that may predispose this particular group of individuals to disease co-infection. In recent times, however, the focus has shifted towards understanding the dynamics of the biological and socio-economic factors that make individuals vulnerable to infections (Nyamogoba, et al. 2012). Although HIV/AIDS mitigation takes into account the broad social predispositions, Tuberculosis control still concentrates on the epidemiological methods that correlate biological factors to infectious diseases. (Bates, et al. 2004)
i) Biological factors that affect the rates of co-infection rates of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis:
The degree to which an individual in this region is affected by the co-infection depends on the amount of exposure and immunological responses of the affected victim (Bates, et al. 2004). It is important to note that the immunity to tuberculosis in a patient with a weakened immunological system is temporary and is lost upon repeated exposure to the infection. The demographic that is most affected by the co-infection of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in sub-saharan Africa is the economically productive one. The active form of the disease occurs when the host immune system is unable to prevent the growth of the infection; this occurs predominantly in immunosuppressed adults who are between the ages of 15-29 years old (Nyamogoba, et al. 2012).
ii) Socio-economic factors that affect the rates of co-infection rates of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis:
The HIV infection is known to accelerate the rate of TB development in both endemic and non-endemic regions. A study of 24,000 South African Gold miners, who are susceptible to a high incidence rate of TB, showed that the HIV infection nearly doubles the rate of TB infection within just one year of seroconversion (Nelson and Lipman 2006). It is possible that, in this reported population, there may be accelerated immune-deregulation because of the presence of other co-infections; coupled with the constant exposure to bacteria that may not be prevalent in other parts of the world. The poor working conditions in the mines may exacerbate the uptake of mycobacteria leading to a faster onset of the TB virus in population that is already afflicted by a weakened immunological system (Nelson and Lipman 2006). In the case of the South African miners, mortality, from the co-infection is aggravated by factors such pre-existing immunological deficiencies and drug/alcohol abuse. One major problems health practitioners face is the possible negative interaction between the antiretroviral drug and the factors mentioned above (Nelson and Lipman 2006) (Curriea, Williams and Dyeb 2003).