Over the period, 1st October 1999 to 30th April 2002 a clinical trial of the modified short-course chemotherapy (SCC) in newly diagnosed cases of pulmonary tuberculosis with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in Ibadan, Nigeria was carried out. The modified SCC used was adopted by World Health Organisation (WHO)/International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (IUALTD) for developing countries and also by the Nigerian National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programmed (NTLCP). The regimen used consisted of ethambutol (E), isoniazid (H), rifampicin (R) and pyrazinamide (Z) in the intensive phase of 2 months. The continuation phase was 6 months of ethambutol (E) and isoniazid(H), i.e. 2EHRZ/6EH. Sputum conversion was 90% at the second month of treatment and there was no bacteriological relapse after 18 months of follow-up. Side effects were few and consisted mainly of acne vulgaris in 20 (22.5%) of 89 patients during the continuation phase. It is concluded that this modified 8-month chemotherapy regimen adopted by NTLCP is efficacious in treatment of smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients with background HIV infection.
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