Researchers urge integrating TB into HIV care

Jul 22, 2008

In resource-limited settings where tuberculosis is a major cause of mortality among HIV patients and where a multidrug-resistant TB epidemic is emerging, researchers are pressing for approaches to integrate TB prevention and treatment into HIV care and treatment.

"HIV programs have no option but to address TB vigorously to save patient lives, safeguard the massive investment in HIV treatment, and to curb the global TB burden," said Diane V. Havlir, MD, chief of UCSF's HIV/AIDS Division at San Francisco General Hospital's Positive Health Program and lead author of a special communication.

The paper, published in the July 23rd issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, proposes several strategic activities. These initiatives could be implemented within existing HIV care and treatment programs with support by earmarked resources for HIV/TB in the U.S. funded President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to fight HIV, TB and Malaria.

One recommended measure is intensified TB case finding. The most effective TB control measure is finding and promptly treating TB, according to the authors. Patients with HIV who are undergoing care should be screened for TB along with members of their household, and the HIV patients who have active TB should be treated for this disease within the HIV program. The authors note that because TB may be the disease that brings an HIV patient into care and there are many more clinics for TB than HIV, HIV patients with active TB often are treated in TB clinics and later referred to an HIV program.

In addition, the authors recommend treating all non TB-infected HIV patients preventively with isoniazid therapy. Another strategy is the provision of antiretroviral therapy to HIV patients earlier, before their immune systems are severely compromised. This measure would also lessen HIV patients' risk of TB infection, they say.

The authors emphasize that TB infection control measures should be implemented in both outpatient and inpatient HIV care facilities so that TB is not transmitted in these settings. TB should be recorded and reported to national TB programs by HIV programs to ensure effective tracking of the TB epidemic, and there should be joint HIV and TB planning, they add.

Source: University of California - San Francisco

Explore further: Are scare tactics off the table for public health campaigns targeting HIV?

Related Stories

Vaccines from a reactor

Mar 02, 2015

In the event of an impending global flu pandemic, vaccine production could quickly reach its limits, as flu vaccines are still largely produced in embryonated chicken eggs. Udo Reichl, Director at the Max ...

Rapid test kit detects dengue antibodies from saliva

Jan 29, 2015

Finding out whether you have been infected with dengue may soon be as easy as spitting into a rapid test kit. The Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR has developed a paper-based ...

Recommended for you

Scientists 'un-can' the HIV virus

6 hours ago

If the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a bit like a hermetically sealed tin can no one has yet been able to break open, the good news is that researchers at the CHUM Research Centre, affiliated with ...

Indiana lawmakers OK needle exchange programs

Apr 30, 2015

Lawmakers looking to prevent a repeat of an HIV outbreak that has rocked a southern Indiana county sent Republican Gov. Mike Pence a measure Wednesday that would allow communities to implement needle-exchange programs if ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.