Prevalence of HIV infection in patients with head and neck abscess and their bacteriology pattern at KNH
Gitonga, G Ndiritu
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Introduction: Head and neck space infection continue to be reported despite the availability of modern antibiotics. The HIV epidemic has brought new challenges in the diagnosis and management of most infective conditions including head and neck space infections. Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out between the month of October and March 2009 in which patients with a diagnosis of cervical abscess were recruited. History of the neck abscess and any complication arising as a result of the abscess was noted. Pus specimen was taken from the patients was cultured for bacteria growth an~N staining was done from the pus specimen. HIV testing was also done on all the patients. Analysis was done on the difference on the presentation and complication as well as the bacteriological pattern between the HIV positive and negative patients. Results: 48.9% of the patients with neck abscess were found to be HIV positive. There was no difference between the two groups on the possible source of infection and the sites of the neck abscess. There was also no difference on the antibiotic sensitivity pattern between the two groups. TB was diagnosed only in the HIV positive patient at 27.9% of all HIV positive patients. Positive cultures were obtained in 64.4% of HIV negative patients as compared to 18.6% of all HIV positive patients. Conclusions: All patients with a diagnosis of neck abscess should have serological test for HIV antibodies and those found positive should be tested to rule out extra pulmonary TB as the cause of the neck abscess.