With easy accessibility to combination Antiretroviral Therapy (cART), mortality amongst hospitalized HIV/AIDS patients needs to be described.


We aimed at determining the trends, causes and factors associated with in-hospital mortality amongst HIV/AIDS patients in the Douala General Hospital.


We retrospectively reviewed hospitalisation records of HIV/AIDS patients hospitalized in the medical wards of the DGH from 2007 to 2015. Four cause-of-death categories were defined: 1. Communicable conditions and AIDS-defining malignancies, 2. Chronic non-communicable conditions and non-AIDS defining malignancies’, 3. Other non-communicable conditions and 4. Unknown conditions. Logistic regression was used to determine factors associated mortality.


We analyzed 891 eligible files. The mean age was 43 (standard deviation (SD): 10) years and median length of hospital stay was 9 (interquatile range (IQR)4 - 15) days. The overall all-cause mortality was 23.5% (95% CI: 20.8% - 26.4%). The category - communicable conditions and AIDS defining malignancies represented 79.9%, of deaths and this remained constant for each year during the study period. Tuberculosis was the most common specific cause of death (23.9%). Patients who had two (OR=2.35, 95%CI: 1.35 - 4.06) and more than two (OR=4.23, 95%CI: 1.62 – 11.12) opportunistic infections, a haemoglobin level less than 10g/l (OR=2.38, 95%CI: 1.58 - 3.59) had increased odds of dying.


In-hospital mortality is high amongst HIV/AIDS patients at the Douala general hospital. The category - communicable conditions and AIDS defining malignancies - is still the main underlying cause of death. We hope that our findings will help to develop interventions aimed at reducing in-hospital mortality.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Mortality, Trends, Opportunistic infections, Anaemia, Cameroon.
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