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High rates of exposure to tuberculosis patients among HIV-infected health care workers in Botswana



To compare daily exposure to tuberculosis (TB) patients between HIV-infected and non-HIV-infected health care workers (HCWs), and examine the uptake of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) among HIV-infected HCWs in Botswana.


We conducted a cross-sectional study among HCWs in 30 hospitals and clinics. We determined self-reported exposure frequency to TB patients and HIV status through in-person interviews. HCWs with unknown or negative HIV status were offered rapid HIV testing. Multivariable Poisson regression modeling with robust variance was used to estimate the association between HIV status and daily exposure to TB patients.


Of 1877 participants enrolled, 1388 (73.9%) with complete data were included in this study. Among 277 (20.0%) HIV-infected participants, 14.3% were newly diagnosed, 57.8% were on ART, and 34.3% reported previously receiving IPT. Daily exposure to TB patients was reported by respectively 48.4% and 52.9% of HIV-infected and non-infected participants. After adjusting for sex, age, occupation, and department, the rates of daily TB exposure remained similar between HIV-infected and non-HIV-infected participants (prevalence ratio 0.96, 95%CI 0.85-1.08).


We found similar rates of exposure to TB patients between HIV-infected and non-HIV-infected HCWs. Improved efforts are needed to reduce nosocomial exposure to TB among HIV-infected HCWs.

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