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Delays in HIV and TB diagnosis and treatment initiation in co-infected patients in Colombia

Keywords: Tuberculosis, HIV, antituberculosis treatment, antiretroviral therapy, delay


We investigated the delays in the diagnosis of tuberculosis and/or HIV, their treatment initiation, and factors associated with each delay. All drug-susceptible tuberculosis cases diagnosed in 2014 and 2015 in Colombia, with a confirmed diagnosis of HIV were included. A total of 1909 patients were registered with tuberculosis/HIV co-infection. Seventy-nine percent of patients were men, 50% had sputum smear-negative tuberculosis, culture was done in 50% of cases, 68.5% had <200 CD4 cell count at diagnosis, and 35% had concurrent tuberculosis/HIV diagnosis. Delays in the tuberculosis diagnosis were identified in 54.8% of the patients, and delays in tuberculosis and HIV treatment initiation in 41.8% and 27.4%, respectively. The risk factors associated with delay in tuberculosis diagnosis were age between 15– 34 and 45 years, and those patients who received tuberculin skin test. The risk factor associated with antiretroviral therapy initiation delay was previously-treated tuberculosis patients after failure. It is necessary to implement strategies for early detection and treatment initiation of HIV and to use rapid test for tuberculosis diagnosis in this population.

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