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J Int AIDS Soc. 2012;15(2):17396.

HIV and tuberculosis--science and implementation to turn the tide and reduce deaths.

Author information

1
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France. adharries@theunion.org

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Every year, HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB) deprives 350,000 mainly young people of productive and healthy lives.People die because TB is not diagnosed and treated in those with known HIV infection and HIV infection is not diagnosed in those with TB. Even in those in whom both HIV and TB are diagnosed and treated, this often happens far too late. These deficiencies can be addressed through the application of new scientific evidence and diagnostic tools.

DISCUSSION:

A strategy of starting antiretroviral therapy (ART) early in the course of HIV infection has the potential to considerably reduce both individual and community burden of TB and needs urgent evaluation for efficacy, feasibility and broader social and economic impact. Isoniazid preventive therapy can reduce the risk of TB and, if given strategically in addition to ART, provides synergistic benefit. Intensified TB screening as part of the "Three I's" strategy should be conducted at every clinic, home or community-based attendance using a symptoms-based algorithm, and new diagnostic tools should increasingly be used to confirm or refute TB diagnoses. Until such time when more sensitive and specific TB diagnostic assays are widely available, bolder approaches such as empirical anti-TB treatment need to be considered and evaluated. Patients with suspected or diagnosed TB must be screened for HIV and given cotrimoxazole preventive therapy and ART if HIV-positive. Three large randomized trials provide conclusive evidence that ART initiated within two to four weeks of start of anti-TB treatment saves lives, particularly in those with severe immunosuppression. The key to ensuring that these collaborative activities are delivered is the co-location and integration of TB and HIV services within the health system and the community.

CONCLUSIONS:

Progress towards reducing HIV-associated TB deaths can be achieved through attention to simple and deliverable actions on the ground.

PMID:
22905358
PMCID:
PMC3499795
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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