Objectives: In order to appreciate the impact of the HIV/AID pandemic in Yaoundé, Cameroon, an evaluation of the clinical and epidemiologic trends in HIV/AIDS patients was undertaken in a hospital setting. Methods: A rapid assessment method was used to collect data. Patient record examination, interviews and direct observation were employed. Results: Of 875 cases studied in the hospital during a 6-year period, 43.7% were males and 56.3% females. A total of 5.4% of all the cases were seen in 1993 compared to 30.5% in 1998. The number of admissions per patient ranged from 0 to 4, with a median duration of admission of 14 days (range 0-343 days). The 25-44-year age group was mostly affected (63.4% cases) and 10.1% were in the 0-14-year age group. About 27% of cases died in hospital, mainly between 1996 and 1997. The predominant clinical manifestations included persistent fever and diarrhea, excessive weight loss, chronic cough and profound asthenia. Opportunistic infections and cancers also formed part of the picture. Conclusions: The increasing clinical and epidemiologic trends of the HIV/AIDS pandemic within the hospital show the devastation and socio-economic impact, especially on the Cameroonian youth and women. Intense public health measures must be put in place to educate and cater for the vulnerable groups in society.
- Clinical manifestations