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Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Print version ISSN 0042-9686


DATE, Anand A et al. Implementation of co-trimoxazole prophylaxis and isoniazid preventive therapy for people living with HIV. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2010, vol.88, n.4, pp.241-241. ISSN 0042-9686.

OBJECTIVE: To measure progress in implementing co-trimoxazole prophylaxis (CTXp) (trimethoprim plus sulfamethoxazole) and isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) policy recommendations, identify barriers to the development of national policies and pinpoint challenges to implementation. METHODS: In 2007 we conducted by e-mail a cross-sectional survey of World Health Organization (WHO) HIV/AIDS programme officers in 69 selected countries having a high burden of infection with HIV or HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB). The specially-designed, self-administered questionnaire contained items covering national policies for CTXp and IPT in people living with HIV, current level of implementation and barriers to developing or implementing these policies. FINDINGS: The 41 (59%) respondent countries, representing all WHO regions, comprised 85% of the global burden of HIV-associated TB and 82% of the global burden of HIV infection. Thirty-eight countries (93%) had an established national policy for CTXp, but only 66% of them (25/38) had achieved nationwide implementation. For IPT, 21 of 41 countries (51%) had a national policy but only 28% of them (6/21) had achieved nationwide implementation. Despite significant progress in the development of CTXp policy, the limited availability of co-trimoxazole for this indication and inadequate systems to manage drug supply impeded nationwide implementation. Inadequate intensified tuberculosis case-finding and concerns regarding isoniazid resistance were challenges to the development and implementation of national IPT policies. CONCLUSION: Despite progress in implementing WHO-recommended CTXp and IPT policies, these interventions remain underused. Urgent steps are required to facilitate the development and implementation of these policies.

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