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Screening HIV-Positive Patients for TB in Resource-Poor Settings

January 21, 2011

The "[a]bsence of all of current cough, fever, night sweats, and weight loss can identify a subset of people living with HIV who have a very low probability of having TB disease," write the authors of a PLoS Medicine study that used individual participant data meta-analysis to identify factors that could be used to create a standardized TB screening rule for resource-constrained settings." While "[g]reatly improving TB screening, diagnosis, and treatment in people living with HIV will require deployment of a rapid, accurate, point-of-care TB diagnostic test. ... In the absence of such a test, we believe that a standardized algorithm employing symptoms, as we propose here, can improve the diagnosis and treatment of TB for people living with HIV, and by doing so would save many lives," the authors conclude (Getahun et al., 1/18).

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