BackgroundPatients facing tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection receive particular care. Despite efforts in the care, misconceptions about TB and HIV still heavily impact patients, their families and communities. This situation severely limits achievement of TB and HIV programs goals. This study reports current situation of TB patients and patients living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) facing their disease and its implications, by comparing results from both qualitative and quantitative study design.
MethodsCross sectional study using mixed methods was used and excluded patients co-infected by TB and HIV. Focus group included 96 patients (6 patients per group) stratified by setting, disease profile and gender; from rural (Orodara Health District) and urban (Bobo Dioulasso) areas, all from Hauts-Bassins region in Burkina Faso. Quantitative study included 862 patients (309 TB patients and 553 PLWHA) attending TB and HIV care facilities in two main regions (Hauts-Bassins and Centre) of Burkina Faso.
ResultsA content analysis of reports found TB patients and PLWHA felt discriminated and stigmatized because of misconceptions with its aftermaths (rejection, emotional and financial problems), mainly among PLWHA and women patients. PLWHA go to healers when facing limited solutions in health system. There are fewer associations for TB patients, and less education and sensitization sessions to give them opportunity for sharing disease status and learning from other TB patients. TB patients and PLWHA still need to better understand their disease and its implication. Access to care (diagnosis and treatment) remains one of the key issues in health system, especially for PLWHA. Individual counseling is centered among PLWHA but not for TB patients. With research progress and experiences sharing, TB patients and PLWHA have some hope to implement their life project, and to receive psychosocial and nutritional support.
ConclusionDespite international aid, TB patients and PLWHA are facing misconceptions effects. There is a need to reinforce health education towards patients and healers, inside community, health centers and associations, and for specific settings. International aid must be adapted to specific targets and strategies implementing programs. Maintaining psychosocial and nutritional support is crucial for better outcomes of medication adherence. Individual counseling has to be centered among TB patients and PLWHA.