The prevalence of co-morbidities in patients on HAART referred for physiotherapy in three public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a short report

Introduction: The roll-out of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) to patients infected with the Human Immuno-deficient Virus (HIV) is presenting with co-morbidities as a result of the side effects of the drugs or the prolonged lifespan of the HIV positive individual. This poses a challenge...

Full description

Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: S. S. Mahraj, P. Ranjiah
Format: Article
Language:English
Published: AOSIS 2010-02-01
Series:South African Journal of Physiotherapy
Subjects:
Hiv
Online Access:https://sajp.co.za/index.php/sajp/article/view/245
Description
Summary:Introduction: The roll-out of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) to patients infected with the Human Immuno-deficient Virus (HIV) is presenting with co-morbidities as a result of the side effects of the drugs or the prolonged lifespan of the HIV positive individual. This poses a challenge to physiotherapists for rehabilitation which has changed from prophylaxis and management of opportunistic infections to managing the co-morbidities. The aim of this preliminary study was to determine the number of patients on HAART with co-morbidities admitted to three public hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal and referred for physiotherapy.Method: This descriptive epidemiological study used a cross-sectional design to determine the prevalence of co-morbidities associated with HAART. Baseline data of patients and their demographics, AIDS status and clinical co-morbidities were recorded. The sample consisted of 78 patients with an average CD4 count of 338 cells/mm³ and a viral load of 133 copies/mL. Patients were categorised according to their HIV stages: 13 (17%) asymptomatic, 44 (56%) ‘AIDS-related complex’ and 21 (27%) had full blown AIDS.Results: Patients referred for physiotherapy presented with peripheral neuropathy 36 (46%), pulmonary tuberculosis 29 (37%), musculo-skeletal pain 17(22%), myopathies 9 (12%), pneumonia 8 (10%), enthesopathies 4 (5%), cerebral vascular accidents 2 (3%) and abdominal pain 1(1%). Conclusion: To rehabilitate the HIV infected individual successfully physiotherapists should note the side effects and co-morbidities associated with HAART.
ISSN:0379-6175
2410-8219