Anemia among adult HIV patients in Ethiopia: A hospital-based cross-sectional study

Hermela Melese, Molla Mesele Wassie, Haile Woldie, Abilo Tadesse, Nebiyu Mesfin

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Background: Anemia is a major public health problem in HIV patients around the world. It has a negative effect on the quality of life of HIV patients and progression of the HIV disease. In the sub-Saharan African setting, including Ethiopia where both HIV infection and under-nutrition are expected to be high, there is a paucity of data on the matter. This study was aimed to reveal the magnitude and factors associated with anemia among adult HIV patients in Debre-Tabor Hospital, northwest Ethiopia. Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was used among adult HIV patients in Debre-Tabor Hospital from April 1 to May 30, 2015. The diagnosis of anemia was made following the 2011 World Health Organization recommendation on hemoglobin cut-off points. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression was carried out to assess factors associated with anemia. Results: A total of 377 patients’ charts were reviewed. Most of the participants (n=237, 62.9%) were taking antiretroviral treatment (ART). The overall prevalence of anemia was 23% (95% CI: 19.1, 27.6). Being ART-naïve (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 3.37; 95% CI: 1.59, 7.14), having treatment history with anti-tuberculosis (TB) drug (AOR: 3.2; 95% CI: 1.19, 8.67), taking zidovudine (ZDV)-containing ART regimen (AOR: 2.14; 95% CI: 1.03, 4.57), and having recent CD4+ T-lymphocytes count of <200 cells/μL (AOR: 2.13; 95% CI: 1.04, 4.36) were associated with occurrence of anemia among adult HIV patients. Conclusion and recommendation: Anemia continues to be a major co-morbidity among adult HIV patients in Ethiopia. Adult HIV patients who are taking ZDV-containing ART, with a history of TB treatment, have a low CD4+T-lymphocytes count and are ART-naïve should be carefully screened and treated for anemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-30
Number of pages6
JournalHIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Anemia
  • Antiretroviral treatment
  • Ethiopia
  • ZDV toxicity


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