As patients with HIV live longer due to Combination Anti-Retroviral Therapy (cART) serostatus disclosure becomes an important issue. Disclosure can have both positive and negative outcomes. Disclosure of HIV status has been associated with better adherence to medication and reduction in levels of psychological distress. Stigma and disruption of family relationships are barriers for disclosure. Most studies regarding disclosure status have been conducted in West. There are many cultural differences in Indian society when compared to west. There is a dearth of research in the field of disclosure of HIV infection in India.
To determine the prevalence of HIV status disclosure among people living with HIV (PLHIV) in South India.
Materials and Methods
This descriptive cross-sectional study was done in the hospital attached to Kasturba Medical College (KMC), Mangalore, India from May–June 2013. PLHIV of age more than 18 years were included. During the study period 111 consecutive patients who consented for the study were enrolled.
Data was collected using a pre-tested interviewer administered semi structured questionnaire. Data collected was analysed using SPSS Version 11.5 statistical software. Descriptive statistics were done and the results are presented as proportions and mean.
The mean age of the study population was 44.86 ± 10.8 years. Majority of the study subjects were men 76 (68.4%). Out of 111 study subjects, 102 (91.9%) had disclosed their HIV status to at least one person while 9 (8.1%) had not disclosed their HIV status to anyone. Disclosure on doctor’s advice was the main reason for 56 (54.9%) participants to disclose their HIV status. The main reason for non-disclosure was fear of shame in family.
Disclosure rate was high in our study in the era of cART. Society must stop discriminating against PLHIV so that they can disclose their serostatus and gain access to care and treatment services without any fear of stigma. In our study the main reason for disclosure was doctor’s advice which clearly states the importance of the commitment of doctors in creating awareness among PLHIV about the need for voluntary disclosure.
Discrimination; PLHIV; Serostatus
The clinical spectrum of dengue fever ranges from asymptomatic infection to dengue shock syndrome. Dengue is classically considered a non-neurotropic virus. Neurological complications are not commonly seen in dengue. The neurological manifestations seen in dengue are encephalitis, meningitis, encephalopathy, stroke and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Dengue encephalitis is a rare disease. We report an interesting case of dengue encephalitis from Southern India. A 49-year-old gentleman presented with fever, altered sensorium and seizures. Dengue NS-1 antigen test was reactive. Dengue IgM was also positive. CSF PCR was negative for herpes simplex 1 & 2. Dengue encephalitis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of fever with altered sensorium, especially in countries like India where dengue is rampant.
Dengue encephalitis; NS1 antigen; Neurological manifestation
Angiostrongylus cantonensis is one of the causative agents of eosinophilic meningitis. Humans get infected when they ingest raw or partially cooked snails or monitor lizards (Varanus bengalensis). There is a popular belief that the tongue and the liver of the monitor lizard has aphrodisiac properties. A 20-year-old man was admitted to our hospital with a history of fever, headache and vomiting. His cerebrospinal fluid revealed eosinophilia. He gave a history of the ingestion of a monitor lizard, ten days prior to the onset of the symptoms. So, a diagnosis of eosinophilic meningitis due to Angiostrongylus cantonensis was made. He was treated with oral albendazole and prednisolone. His symptoms improved gradually within two weeks from his admission.
Eosinophilic meningitis; Angiostrongylus cantonensis; Monitor lizard
Background and Objective: The recognition and the assessment of the carotid intimal thickness helps in predicting the risk of the cardiovascular events in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected patients who are on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART). The objective of this study was to assess and compare the carotid intimal thickness in HIV positive individuals who were on antiretroviral therapy with HIV positive individuals who were not on anti-retroviral therapy.
Subjects and Methods: All the HIV positive individuals who were 20 years old and above, who had been diagnosed by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) guidelines were included in the study. The HIV positive individuals who were diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and hypertension were excluded from the study. The study subjects were divided into 2 groups i.e. HIV patients who were on anti-retroviral therapy and HIV patients who were not on anti-retroviral therapy. The patients had to be on anti-retroviral therapy for a minimum of 6 months for them to be included in the first group. The data was collected by using a semi structured, pre-tested proforma, which included the demographic details, the duration of the HIV infection, details of the antiretroviral treatment, a history of smoking/ alcohol consumption and details on the assessments of the metabolic syndrome.
Results: A total of 42 patients were included in the study. Among them, 28 were males (66.7%) and 14 were females (33.3%). Twenty six patients were on ART and the remaining patients were treatment naive. There were significant differences with regards to their age and the duration of the HIV infection, which was longer in the patients who were on ART (p= 0.049, p=0.003 respectively). The Body Mass Index (BMI), the waist: hip ratio, the mid-arm circumference, the waist circumference, the skin fold thickness and the carotid intimal-media thickness were higher in the HIV patients who were on ART as compared to those in the treatment naive patients, though the difference was statistically insignificant.
Conclusion: The carotid intimal thickness was higher in the HIV patients who were on ART as compared to those in the treatment naïve HIV infected patients.
HIV; Carotid atherosclerosis; Antiretroviral therapy
Background and objective: A Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) is accompanied with several metabolic effects like adipose redistribution and insulin resistance. In this study, we evaluated the association between a HAART and lipodystrophy.
Methods: A cross sectional study, whose subjects were Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infected patients, was conducted at a tertiary care hospital in south India. Among these, 27 were on protease inhibitors for at-least 6 months and 13 were drug naive patients. The assessments of lipodystrophy, fasting blood sugar and the fasting lipid profile were done and these parameters were compared in the two groups.
Results: The analysis of the data which was collected, showed an elevation in the total cholesterol levels in the individuals who were on the protease inhibitors versus the drug naive patients. There was a significant elevation in the Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and a decrease in High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels in the individuals who were on protease inhibitors. It was also observed that the HDL cholesterol levels decreased with an increase in the duration of the therapy. The LDL cholesterol levels increased with the duration of the therapy.
Conclusion: The human immunodeficiency virus infection is itself related to the metabolic complications which are aggravated on the use of second line anti retroviral therapy. Therefore, after initiating the treatment with protease inhibitors, a periodic evaluation of the serum lipid levels and the blood sugar profile should be done as a standard care.
HAART; ART; HIV; Metabolic syndrome; Dyslipidaemia
Human dirofilariasis is a zoonotic disease which is caused by the filarial nematodes, Dirofilaria repens and Dirofilaria immitis. Dirofilariae are transmitted to humans via mosquito bites. Human Dirofilariasis presents commonly as subcutaneous nodules, pulmonary nodules or nodules in the eyes. They are considered as emerging pathogens. We are presenting a case of human Dirofilariasis from Karnataka, which was caused by Dirofilaria repens.
Dirofilariasis; Dirofilaria repens
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is now considered as a manageable chronic illness. There has been a dramatic reduction in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) related morbidity and mortality due to antiretroviral therapy. A high level of adherence (>95%) is required for antiretroviral therapy to be effective. There are many barriers to adherence in both developed and developing countries.
The aim of our study was to determine adherence levels and factors influencing adherence to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV.
Materials and Methods:
Using a cross-sectional study design, 116 HIV positive patients receiving antiretroviral therapy for at least 1 year were interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire. The collected data was analyzed using Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) version 11.5. Chi-square test was done. A P value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Of 116 participants, 63.7% reported adherence ≥ 95%. Mean adherence index was 91.25%. Financial constraints, forgetting to take medication, lack of family care, depression, alcohol use, social stigma and side effects to antiretroviral therapy were barriers for adherence in our study.
Adherence to antiretroviral therapy in south India is suboptimal. Intensive adherence counseling should be provided to all patients before initiation ofantiretroviral therapy. Health care providers must identify possible barriers to adherence at the earliest and provide appropriate solutions.
Adherence; Adherence index; Antiretroviral therapy; Depression; Human immunodeficiency virus; Stigma
Snakebite is a common medical emergency in India. Unusual complications may occur after viper bite. Bilateral parotid enlargement after viper bite is a rare entity. An 18-year old gentleman presented to our hospital with history of viper bite. On examination he had cellulitis of right lower limb. He developed swelling of both the parotid glands 12 h after admission. He developed coagulopathy, acute renal failure and died within 48 h of hospital admission. Development of parotid swelling after snake bite is associated with poor prognosis. This case is found worth reporting as it is an unusual complication having prognostic value.
Snakebite; Parotid swelling; Coagulopathy
The Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome (IRIS) is an exaggerated pathological inflammatory reaction which occurs after the initiation of the antiretroviral therapy, due to the exuberant immune responses to the occult or the apparent opportunistic infections. The hallmark of the syndrome is the paradoxical worsening of an existing infection or a disease process or the appearance of a new infection or a disease process soon after the initiation of the antiretroviral therapy.
The most common forms of IRIS occur in association with tuberculosis and chronic viral and invasive fungal infections. Multiple IRIS in a patient is extremely rare. Our patient had multiple manifestations of IRIS, in the form of cryptococcal meningitis, toxoplasmosis and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis after the initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy.
Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS); HIV; Cryptococcal Meningitis; Toxoplasmosis; Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis
In some parts of India people follow a religious ritual of drinking an herbal preparation made from the bark of the Alstonia scholaris tree (Blackboard tree) on the day of the new moon in the month of July. This tree could be easily confused with the Strychnos nux vomica tree. Brucine is the predominant alkaloid present in the bark of the Strychnos nux vomica tree. The toxicological property of brucine is similar to strychnine. Brucine is a neurotoxin. A 29-year-old male presented with a history of consumption of an herbal preparation made from the bark of the Strychnos nux vomica tree confusing it for Alstonia scholaris. Soon after, he developed convulsions and later died in hospital on the same day. The aim of this case report is to highlight the fact that people must be cautious when they follow religious rituals.
Brucine; Alstonia scholaris; strychnine; poisoning
Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with the obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasmosis is generally a late complication of HIV infection and usually occurs in patients with CD4 + T-cell counts below 200/μl. Co-trimoxazole (trimethoprim plus sulfamethoxazole) is the most common drug used in India for the treatment of AIDS-associated cerebral toxoplasmosis. Other alternative drugs used for the treatment of cerebral toxoplasmosis are clindamycin plus pyrimethamine and clarithromycin with pyrimethamine.
A 30-year-old male known case of retroviral disease presented to Kasturba Medical College, India, with complaints of fever, headache and vomiting. Computed tomography scan of his brain showed irregular ring enhancing lesion in the right basal ganglia. Toxoplasma serology revealed raised IgG antibody levels. Based on the CT features and serology, diagnosis of cerebral toxoplasmosis was made. He was treated with clindamycin alone as he had history of sulfonamide allergy. The patient was symptomatically better after 48 hours. After 21 days, repeat CT of brain was done which was normal. The patient showed good clinical improvement within 48 hours and the lesion resolved completely within 3 weeks. The authors recommend using clindamycin without pyrimethamine in resource poor settings and in patients who do not tolerate sulfa drugs.
Cerebral toxoplasmosis; Clindamycin; HIV/AIDS