Clinical features of HIV/AIDS patients presenting to an inner city clinic in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Stephen A. Klotz, Cong Nguyen Hao, Van Pham Tam, Thanh Nguyen Liem, Dong Thi Anh Ngo, Nhoc Vu Son

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


An outpatient HIV clinic was opened in March 2005 in Binh Thanh District, a poor section of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Over 1500 patients were seen in the first year. The average age of patients was 27 years. Men represented 77% of the clinic population, women, 23% and children under the age of 16 years of age, 5% of the population. The most common risk factor among men was being an injecting drug user (IDU), 76%, and among women, being married to an IDU HIV-positive man, 35%. Physical signs of disease were uncommon: lymphadenopathy in 24% and hepatomegaly and splenomegaly in 4% and 3%, respectively. Men and women were anaemic at presentation, with a mean haemoglobin of 11.9 g/dL and 11.1 g/dL, respectively. An overwhelming majority of patients had profound immunodeficiency. The mean CD4+ cell count was 164 cells/mL and the median was 69 cells/mL. No correlation was found between the World Health Organization's stage of disease and the CD4+ cell count. Thus, the former is a poor predictor of immunity in this population. Data regarding opportunistic infections diagnosed at the first visit were studied. Candidiasis of the oral pharynx, oesophagus or vagina was found in 34.5% of the patients, and pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis was found in 32% of the patients. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) was diagnosed in only 3% of the patients. Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis is advocated for HIV-infected Vietnamese, but the incidence of PCP is negligible and resources could be spent elsewhere. The various opportunistic infections seen in this resource-poor clinic setting is likely to be a pattern of presentation of HIV-infected Vietnamese for some time to come.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-485
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007


  • CD4+ cell count
  • Candidiasis
  • Opportunistic infections
  • Tuberculosis
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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