The prevalence of anemia among human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals in East Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis


BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients face several hematological abnormalities. Of these abnormalities, anemia is the most common one. Africa has a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, especially in the East and South African region, which is heavily affected by the virus. Therefore, this systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine the pooled prevalence of anemia among patients with HIV/AIDS in East Africa. METHODS: This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted based on the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis. PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, Dove Press, Cochrane Online, and African journals online were searched systematically. The quality of the included studies was assessed by 2 independent reviewers using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools. Data were extracted into an Excel sheet and then exported to STATA version 11 for analysis. A random-effect model was fitted to estimate the pooled prevalence and Higgins I2 test statistics were done to test the heterogeneity of studies. Funnel plots analysis and Egger-weighted regression tests were done to detect publication bias. RESULTS: The pooled prevalence of anemia among HIV/AIDS patients in East Africa was 25.35% (95% CI: 20.69–30.03%). A subgroup analysis by highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) status showed that the prevalence of anemia among HAART naive HIV/AIDS patients was 39.11% (95% CI: 29.28–48.93%) whereas the prevalence among HAART experienced was 36.72% (95% CI: 31.22–42.22%). A subgroup analysis by the study population showed that the prevalence of anemia among adult HIV/AIDS patients was 34.48% (95% CI: 29.52–39.44%) whereas the pooled prevalence among children was 36.17% (95% CI: 26.68–45.65%). CONCLUSION: This systematic review and meta-analysis revealed that anemia is among the most common hematological abnormalities in HIV/AIDS patients in East Africa. It also underscored the importance of taking diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic measures for the management of this abnormality.


Getu F, Aynalem M, Walle M, Enawgaw B




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


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