HIV/AIDS, Trypanosomiasis and Malaria Interaction, a Case Report

Download Article

DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.04.02.Art029

Authors : Mudji E’kitiak


A number of infectious diseases remain neglected, such as the sleeping sickness and often occur in individuals who are additionally affected by HIV/AIDS and malaria, making the problem even more serious. In this article we will be discussing the clinical interactions between HIV/AIDS, malaria and trypanosomiasis infection.

The discussed patient is a 34 year old female who presented with an intermittent fever lasting approximately three months and behavioural problems persisting for one week. The patient reported unprotected sex with multiple sexual partners. She was diagnosed with HIV (WHO stage III), human African trypanosomiasis stage II and malaria with high parasitemia. The patient receives treatment for malaria and trypanosomasis but died of neurological causes.

Discussion: There is a scarcity of data regarding the coexistence of HIV/AIDS, trypanosomasis, and malaria in a specific patient. This creates a complicated situation for diagnosis and treatment.

Conclusion: Co-infections through various infectious agents are common in sub-Saharan African creating important diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic implications.


[1.] Overview: HIV/AIDS - WHO | Regional Office for Africa [Internet]. 2015 [cited 10 August 2015]. Available from:­a-programmes/dpc/acquired-immune-deficiency-syndrome/overview.html

[2.] Blum J, Burri C, Hatz C, Kazumba L, Mangoni P, Zellweger M. Sleeping hearts: the role of the heart in sleeping sickness (human African trypanosomiasis). Tropical Medicine & International Health. 2007;12(12):1422-1432.

[3.] Blum J, Nkunku S, Burri C. Clinical description of encephalopathic syndromes and risk factors for their occurrence and outcome during melarsoprol treatment of human African trypanosomiasis. Trop Med Int Health. 2001;6(5):390-400.

[4.] Boraschi D, Abebe Alemayehu M, Aseffa A, Chiodi F, Chisi J, Del Prete G et al. Immunity against HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis during Co-Infections with Neglected Infectious Diseases: Recommendations for the European Union Research Priorities. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2008;2(6):e255.

[5.] Galactionova K, Tediosi F, de Savigny D, Smith T, Tanner M. Effective Coverage and Systems Effectiveness for Malaria Case Management in Sub-Saharan African Countries. PLOS ONE. 2015;10(5):e0127818.

[6.] Kuepfer I, Hary E, Allan M, Edielu A, Burri C, Blum J. Clinical Presentation of T. b. rhodesiense Sleeping Sickness in Second Stage Patients from Tanzania and Uganda. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011;5(3):e968.

[7.] Lejon V, Ngoyi D, Ilunga M, Beelaert G, Maes I, Buscher P et al. Low Specificities of HIV Diagnostic Tests Caused by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense Sleeping Sickness. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2010;48(8):2836-2839.

[8.] Lumbala C, Simarro P, Cecchi G, Paone M, Franco J, Kande Betu Ku Mesu V et al. Human African trypanosomiasis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: disease distribution and risk. International Journal of Health Geographics. 2015;14(1).

[9.] Matete G, Kajejo O. Human African Trypanosomiasis And Human Immunodeficiency Virus Co-Infection In Western Kenya. E Af Med Jrnl. 2005;82 (1).

[10.] Meda H, Doua F, Laveissière C, Miezan T, Gaens E, Brattegaard K et al. Human immunodeficiency virus infection and human African trypanosomiasis: a case-control study in Côte d'Ivoire. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1995;89(6):639-643.

[11.] Pepin J, Ethier L, Kazadi C, Milord F, Ryder R  .The impact of human immunodeficiency virus infection on the epidemiology and treatment  ofTrypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness in Nioki, Zaire. Am J Trop Med Hyg 47.1992;47(7)

[12.] Tack D, Holman R, Folkema A, Mehal J, Blanton J, Sejvar J. Trends in Encephalitis-Associated Deaths in the United States, 1999-2008. Neuroepidemiology. 2014;43(1):1-8.11.