February 26, 2010
The initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) during tuberculosis (TB) therapy "significantly improves" treatment-naive, HIV-postive patient survival, a New England Journal of Medicine study finds (Karim et al., 2/25). Combined therapy in the clinical trial of 642 patients reduced mortality rates by 56 percent, according to a Columbia University press release (2/25). "[O]ur findings provide compelling evidence of the benefit of initiating antiretroviral therapy during tuberculosis therapy in patients with HIV coinfection. The findings also support recommendations by the WHO and others for the integration of tuberculosis and HIV care," the study authors concludes (2/25).