Preventing, Detecting and Treating Critical Co-Infections

What Works


Certain infections can be significantly more severe and lead to early death for people living with HIV. Tuberculosis (TB) has become the leading cause of death for those living with HIV. Malaria can have serious impacts on pregnant women. Co-infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV), if untreated, increases the risk of non-liver and liver-related illness and death in people living with HIV. A systematic review of 18 studies found that treating co-infections such as TB, malaria, helminthes and STIs reduced viral load, even among populations that were entirely or predominantly ART naïve (Modjarrad and Vermund, 2010). Tuberculosis, malaria and hepatitis, when present as co-infections with HIV, warrant further discussion regarding their prevention, detection and treatment. Sexually transmitted infections are discussed in Treating Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and in Meeting the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Women Living With HIV. Helminth infections are outside the scope of this review.[1]  

[1] As noted in Methodology, the sections on malaria and hepatitis, were not as thoroughly reviewed as other topics in the compendium. Consultation with co-infection experts should complement the information in these sections. Some references to groups working on co-infections are provided.