Preventing TB is a critical cog in the wheel to end TB and end AIDS

    23-Jul-2019
 -Bobby Ramakant
Contd from previous issue
Implementing evidence-based interventions, rolling out prevention services and consolidating health services towards universal health coverage.
Together with HIV treatment, preventive therapy can reduce the risk of TB disease in people living with HIV by up to 90%.
3. Accelerate research and development of technology innovations, including diagnosis, treatment and vaccines: Dedicating resources, with all high-burden and G20 countries investing a proportion of their Gross Domestic Expenditure will expedite efforts in the research and development of new technologies. This will also rapidly increase the uptake of new tools to prevent and treat TB and HIV.
4. Decrease the burden of combined HIV and TB stigma: Ensuring that national programmes strike a balance between standardized public health responses and innovative solutions to better support the realities of the communities and individuals affected by TB and HIV. Honouring the rights of people living with HIV and affected by TB, and decreasing gender-related barriers, stigma and discrimination will go a long way to decreasing vulnerability to TB and HIV in all societies.
5. Commit to outstanding programmatic performance: Striving for quality and implementing initiatives that are routinely geared, monitored and evaluated towards reaching TB and HIV targets at the country, regional and global levels, including through accountability frameworks."
Persons with latent TB infection do not feel sick and do not have any symptoms. They are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but do not have TB disease. Persons with latent TB infection are not infectious and cannot spread TB infection to others. Overall, without treatment, about 5 to 10% of latent TB infected persons will develop active TB disease at some time in their lives. That is why it is a human right and a standard of care that every person with latent TB should get preventive therapy which will drastically reduce the risk of developing active TB disease. Without addressing latent TB and 'emptying latent TB pool', it is not possible to end TB or AIDS.
The writer is a WHO Director General’s WNTD Awardee and Health Editor of CNS and can be reached at Twitter @bobbyramakant, @cns_health or visit www.citizen-news.org