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Prophylactic use of cotrimoxazole against opportunistic infections in HIV-positive patients: knowledge and practices of health care providers in Cote d'Ivoire.
AIDS Care. 2003 Oct; 15(5):629-637.We present here the results of a survey conducted in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa, among health care providers, on the knowledge of prophylactic use of cotrimoxazole to prevent opportunistic infections in HIV-infected persons. The survey was conducted in 15 health centres, involved or not in the ‘initiative of access to treatment for HIV infected people’. Between December 1999 and March 2000, 145 physicians and 297 other health care providers were interviewed. In the analysis, the health centres were divided into three groups: health centres implicated in the initiative of access to treatment for HIV-infected people with a great deal of caring for HIV-infected people, health centres implicated in this initiative but caring for few HIV-infected people, and health centres not specifically involved in the care of HIV-infected people. Six per cent of physicians and 50% of other health care providers had never heard of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis. The level of information about this prophylaxis is related to the level of HIV-related activities in the health centre. Among health care providers informed, knowledge on the exact terms of prescription of the cotrimoxazole is poor. In conclusion, it appears that the recommendations for primary cotrimoxazole prophylaxis of HIV-infected people did not reach the whole health care provider population. Most physicians are informed but not other health workers, even if the latter are often the only contact of the patient with the health centre. The only medical staff correctly informed are the physicians already strongly engaged in the care of HIV-infected people. (author's)