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Background: Bacterial opportunistic infections are the most frequently encountered cause of morbidity and mortality among patients living with HIV/AIDS. There has been a dramatic reduction in mortality related to HIV/AIDS infection following the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Bacterial opportunistic infections still remain a significant cause of morbidity among patients living with the virus and treatment with antibiotics is increasingly becoming less affordable for majority of patients. The rising cost of treatment is largely caused by irrational antibiotic prescriptions, high rate of treatment failure due to resistance and use of expensive innovator brands of drugs.
Aim: The purpose of this study is to identify common bacterial opportunistic infections and compare antibiotic prescription pattern and treatment cost in two public hospitals.
Method: This was a cross-sectional retrospective study using data obtained from two year medical records of patients being treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy. A sample size of 400 was used in each hospital for the study. Systematic random sampling was used and relevant data were extracted for analysis. The cost of antibiotic treatment was calculated from prices obtained from hospital and community pharmacies around the hospital vicinity.
Data Analysis: The data were entered into SPSS 20 for descriptive and inferential statistics. Analysis was done using students t-test and P values ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results and Discussion: Bacterial infections remain the most frequently encountered among patients on HAART. Antibiotic prescriptions for bacterial infections cost between one and five dollars per episode of infection. This is not affordable for majority of patients who live below the poverty line.
Conclusion: Antibiotic therapy cost is high for majority of patients, there is need to emphasize generic prescriptions and prior microbial sensitivity testing to reduce treatment cost arising from treatment failures.