Strategies for the diagnosis and management of meningitis in HIV-infected adults in resource limited settings


INTRODUCTION: The incidence of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) associated meningitis has been declining in the post-combination antiretroviral treatment (ART) era, although survival rates remain low for the common causes like tuberculosis and cryptococcal disease. Diagnosis and treatment of meningitis in HIV-1 is complicated by atypical clinical presentations, limited accuracy of diagnostic tests, access to diagnostic tests, and therapeutic agents in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). AREAS COVERED: We provide an overview of the common etiologies of meningitis in HIV-1-infected adults, suggest a diagnostic approach based on readily available tests, and review specific chemotherapeutic agents, host-directed therapies, supportive care, timing of ART initiation, and considerations in the management of IRIS with a focus on resource-limited settings. They identify key knowledge gaps and suggest areas for future research. EXPERT OPINION: Evidence-based management of HIV-1-associated meningitis is sparse for common etiologies. More readily available and sensitive diagnostic tests as well as standardized investigation strategies are required in LMIC. There is a lack of availability of recommended drugs in areas of high HIV-1 prevalence and a limited pipeline of novel chemotherapeutic agents. Host-directed therapies have been inadequately studied.

Journal details

Volume 22
Issue number 15
Pages 2053-2070
Available online
Publication date

Crick authors

Crick First author
Crick Corresponding author