Epidemiology of malaria among HIV/AIDS patients in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies


Malaria related HIV morbidity and death is a concern in sub-Saharan Africa. Understanding the epidemiology of malaria among people living with HIV is vital for adequate intervention. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence of malaria in HIV patients in sub-Saharan Africa. We searched PubMed, AJOL, Web of Science and Google Scholar databases. The overall pooled prevalence and pooled Odds Ratio (OR) with their 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) were estimated using the random-effects model and potential causes of heterogeneity in prevalence estimates were investigated using subgroup and meta-regression analysis. 58 studies, including 23,911 HIV patients, were identified between January 1990 and October 2020. The overall pooled prevalence of malaria in HIV patients was 22.7% (95% CI 18.0; 28.1). The Prevalence of malaria among HIV/AIDS patients was 33.1%, 30.2%, 15.3%, and 12.6% in Southern, Western, Central, and Eastern regions of SSA respectively. Prevalence of malaria in the central and western was higher [26.7% (95% CI 20.6; 33.9)] than 13.6% reported in the southern and eastern regions (95% CI 8.8; 20.5). There was a significant decrease in malaria prevalence among HIV/AIDS patients in the Eastern and Southern SSA regions from 21.9% (95% CI 15.5; 30.0) in the 2000-2010 period to 9.7% (95% CI 5.5-16.4) in the post-2010 period compared to the central and western regions. HIV infected patients with low CD4Aÿ+AÿT cell count (CD4 < 200 cells/mm3) were 2.19 times more likely to become infected with malaria than those with high CD4Aÿ+AÿT cell count (CD4 ƒ% 200 cells/mm3) (pooled odds ratio (POR): 2.19 (95%CI 1.20;3.98), while patients on antiretroviral therapy (POR): 0.37 (0.23; 0.59), and in WHO clinical stages I and II (POR): 0.64 (0.28; 1.46), had a lower odds of been infected with malaria. Our review suggests that due consideration should be given to malaria among HIV/AIDS patients in SSA. In particular, the assessment and improvement of preventive measures for malaria/HIV co-infection in high-prevalence regions is important. For the treatment of both diseases, prophylaxis with cotrimoxazole and antiretroviral therapy should also be encouraged.


Obebe OO, Falohun OO




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Malaria


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