Assessment of the impact of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis on key outcomes among HIV-infected adults in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review


BACKGROUND: Cotrimoxazole (CTX) prophylaxis is among the key interventions provided to HIV-infected individuals in resource-limited settings. We conducted a systematic review of the available evidence. METHODS: MEDLINE, Embase, Global Health, CINAHL, SOCA, and African Index Medicus (AIM) were used to identify articles relevant to the CTX prophylaxis intervention from 1995 to 2014. Included articles addressed impact of CTX prophylaxis on the outcomes of mortality, morbidity, retention in care, quality of life, and/or prevention of ongoing HIV transmission. We rated the quality of evidence in individual articles and assessed the overall quality of the body of evidence, the expected impact, and the cost effectiveness (CE) for each outcome. RESULTS: Of the initial 1418 identified articles, 42 met all inclusion criteria. These included 9 randomized controlled trials, 26 observational studies, 2 systematic reviews with meta-analysis, 1 other systematic review, and 4 CE studies. The overall quality of evidence was rated as “good” and the expected impact “high” for both mortality and morbidity. The overall quality of evidence from the 4 studies addressing retention in care was rated as “poor,” and the expected impact on retention was rated as “uncertain.” The 4 assessed CE studies showed that provision of CTX prophylaxis is cost effective and sometimes cost saving. No studies addressed impact on quality of life or HIV transmission. CONCLUSIONS: CTX prophylaxis is a cost-effective intervention with expected high impact on morbidity and mortality reduction in HIV-infected adults in resource-limited settings. Benefits are seen in both pre-antiretroviral therapy and antiretroviral therapy populations.


Saadani Hassani A, Marston BJ, Kaplan JE




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Retention in care
    • Treatment
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions
  • Co-infections
    • Malaria


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