Original Research

Hypertension among human immunodeficiency virus infected patients on treatment at Parirenyatwa Hospital: A descriptive study

Rumbidzai Chireshe, Keshena Naidoo, Rudo Nyamakura
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 11, No 1 | a1974 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v11i1.1974 | © 2019 Rumbidzai Chireshe, Keshena Naidoo, Rudo Nyamakura | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 October 2018 | Published: 19 August 2019

About the author(s)

Rumbidzai Chireshe, Discipline of Nursing and Public Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Keshena Naidoo, School of Nursing, Public Health and Family Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Rudo Nyamakura, Department of Nursing Science, College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe


Background: Since the roll-out of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa (sSA) in the early 2000s, the life expectancy of people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has increased. However, the gains made in reducing mortality from HIV-related complications have been mitigated by the emergence of age-related chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as hypertension. Protease inhibitors (PIs), and prolonged exposure to highly active ART (HAART) have been implicated in the development of hypertension in HIV-positive people.

Aim: To investigate the prevalence of hypertension and its associated risk factors among HIV-positive patients receiving ART.

Setting: The study was carried out at an urban-based clinic that provides HAART and primary care to HIV-positive people in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted among non-pregnant adults on HAART attending the clinic between July and August 2018.

Results: We studied 600 HIV-positive adult patients, of which 56% were women. The prevalence rate of hypertension was 29.9%. Of the participants in the hypertensive group, 11.2% were not previously diagnosed or on treatment. Factors associated with hypertension were advanced age, use of HAART for longer than 10 years, being overweight, a family history of hypertension and smoking. There was a 68.8% prevalence of body mass index greater than 25 kg/m2 among all participants.

Conclusion: High hypertension prevalence was recorded. Hypertension was not associated with gender or use of PI regimens but being overweight was highly prevalent. Greater vigilance and integration of resources is required in the overall treatment and monitoring of HIV-positive patients for co-morbidities.


hypertension prevalence; HIV-positive; highly active antiretroviral therapy; sub-Saharan Africa; protease inhibitors; antiretroviral therapy; non-communicable diseases


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