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Asian American AIDS patients associated with a high prevalence of tuberculosis

Ming Wei, Pennsylvania Department of Health, 911 Health & Welfare Building, Harrisburg, PA 17008, (717)783-0481, mingweiw@netzero.net

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has been a contributory factor to increase in tuberculosis (TB) in the United States. Previous studies showed that the prevalence of tuberculosis was higher in minority Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) patients as a group than that in non-Hispanic white patients. However, whether Asian American AIDS patients have a high prevalence of TB remains unclear.

This study investigated the extent of TB co-infection in AIDS patients according to race/ethnic groups. We analyzed 17,762 AIDS cases diagnosed from 1994 to 2003 in Pennsylvania. The prevalence of TB was 18.2%, 3.4%, 3.3%, and 1.7% in Asian, Black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white AIDS patients, respectively. After adjustment for age, sex and geographic distribution, the odds ratio of TB was 12.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 6.6-22.6) for Asian, 1.8 (95% CI: 1.4-2.2) for Black, and 1.7 (95% CI: 1.2-2.4) for Hispanic, when compared to non-Hispanic white patients. The odds ratio for Asian American patients somewhat reduced but remained strong significance (odds ratio: 7.5, 95% CI: 3.8-14.5 p<0.0001) after further adjustment for country of birth. Transmission factors such as injection drug user had little impact on the association.

We concluded that Asian American AIDS patients had a highest TB prevalence among race/ethnic groups in Pennsylvania though the high co-infection rates might be partially attributable to a high proportion of foreign-born in Asian patients. A more focused education program for TB prevention and control in Asian American HIV patients may be helpful in reducing the co-infection of TB.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Emerging Health Issues within Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Communities

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA