Tuberculosis infection in human immunodeficiency virus-positive adolescents and young adults: A New York city cohort

Neal D. Hoffman, Colleen Kelly, Donna Futterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives. Adolescents with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are at increased risk for tuberculosis (TB), underscoring the importance of early identification of TB infection. The goals of this study were to assess the factors associated with the completion of evaluations for TB in a cohort of HIV-positive adolescents and young adults and to describe the prevalence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and adherence to antituberculous treatment regimens. Methods. A retrospective chart review was done for all HIV-positive adolescents and young adults, ages 13 to 21 years (n = 49), seen in a comprehensive care program from January 1991 through December 1992. Data collected included CD4 cell count, HIV clinical status, living situation, substance use history, and the completion of an annual evaluation for TB infection. The evaluation consisted of a tuberculin skin test (Mantoux test), using an intraepidermal injection of 0.1 mL of 5 tuberculin units of purified protein derivative (PPD) and a simultaneous Merieux multitest anergy panel. Chi-square analysis was used to assess the association between the completion of the evaluation for TB and both living status and substance use. Results. Thirty-one (63%) of 49 patients completed evaluations for TB. Of the 31 completed evaluations, 18 were assessed by clinic staff on site, and 13 were assessed by other medical or trained nonmedical observers through community networking efforts. Neither homelessness nor illicit substance use were factors in the completion of the evaluation. Six (19%) of the 31 patients had positive PPD skin test results. Three had medical histories and chest radiographs suggesting active TB, and all were hospitalized for at least 2 weeks. Two had positive cultures for M tuberculosis, although the third also responded clinically to antituberculous therapy. All three were otherwise asymptomatic for HIV infection, with only moderately depressed CD4 cell counts. All three were homeless and used crack cocaine. After the initial treatment as inpatients, none completed treatment within the prescribed time period. Conclusions. The completions of the evaluations for TB were greatly facilitated by community networking, but innovative strategies to enhance both screening and treatment programs, such as training youth service providers in the community to read PPD skin tests, expansion of directly observed therapy services, and youth-centered programs for housing and substance use, need further development. The high prevalence of TB in the cohort underscores the need for providers to increase efforts to identify cases of TB infection among adolescents and young adults and to incorporate HIV risk assessment, counseling, and testing into their practices routinely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-203
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1996


  • adolescence
  • compliance
  • human immunodeficiency virus infection
  • tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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