About 1% of HIV-Positive People Worldwide Have Been Tested for TB, Report Says
August 12, 2008
Only 1% of people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide have been screened for tuberculosis, according to a report recently released by the coalition Advocacy to Control TB Internationally, or ACTION, Reuters reports. The report, which is based on World Health Organization statistics, was released Thursday at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.
According to Kim, the initial pressure to deal with HIV/AIDS led to HIV services developing separately from TB services. "But now the focus needs breadth," Kim said, adding that people living with HIV need a "full range of public health services, including TB care." Kim noted that TB diagnosis tools may be outdated but that HIV programs could perform better even with existing TB diagnostic technology. "TB is a very curable disease," Kim said, adding that even extensively drug-resistant TB can be treated, according to a study conducted in Peru. "It is a crime for people with access to [antiretrovirals] to continue to die from TB," Kim said. Vuyiseka Dubula, secretary general of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign, added that "[i]gnoring TB screening and care undermines all the gains made in HIV treatment," (IRIN/PlusNews, 8/8). According to Michel Sidibe, assistant secretary general and deputy executive director of UNAIDS, TB is a "preventable plague inside a devastating epidemic" (Reuters, 8/8).
In an effort to address HIV/TB coinfection, several HIV/AIDS and TB advocacy groups at the AIDS conference collected more than 10,000 postcards signed by people affected by HIV/AIDS and TB. The postcards will be sent to heads of the Global Fund, PEPFAR and the World Bank, as well as to the ministers of health in four countries -- Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa -- with high HIV and TB burdens (ACTION release, 8/7).
The report is available online (.pdf).
Kaisernetwork.org was the official webcaster of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.