Volume 47, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



To determine if there is an association between human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection and sleeping sickness, all incident cases of trypanosomiasis and a control group of blood donors presenting to the same rural hospital in Zaire were tested for anti-human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (anti-HIV-1) antibodies. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of HIV-1 infection between the two groups (7 of 220, [3.2%] for the incident cases and 8 of 388 [2.1%] for the blood donors; = 0.56). Among the three HIV-1 seropositive incident cases of trypanosomiasis treated with difluoromethylornithine, two (67%) relapsed after treatment compared with four of 39 (10%) HIV-1 seronegative incident cases treated with the same drug ( = 0.05). These findings suggest that at the present time, HIV-1 infection is not having a significant impact on the incidence of sleeping sickness in rural Zaire, but the possibility that incident cases of trypanosomiasis concurrently infected with HIV-1 may be at higher risk of treatment failure warrants further investigation.


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