versión impresa ISSN 0042-9686
Bull World Health Organ vol.82 no.10 Genebra oct. 2004
WHO and UNAIDS call for joint HIV-tuberculosis action
WHO and UNAIDS have called for more action and funding to combine HIV testing with the treatment of tuberculosis (TB) in a new strategy to save millions of lives.
The joint call by WHO and UNAIDS on 21 September came just two months after former South African president Nelson Mandela appealed at an International AIDS Conference in Bangkok to step up the fight against TB.
Combined TB treatment and HIV testing and treatment could save the lives of as many as 500 000 HIV-positive Africans every year, they said.
"By strengthening collaboration between TB and AIDS communities we will be able to respond to the challenges ahead more effectively," Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of the WHO Stop TB Programme, told a meeting of health experts in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Of some 25 million Africans infected with HIV, about eight million also harbour the bacillus that causes TB.
Each year, 5% to 10% of these eight million develop active TB and up to half or four million will develop the disease at some point in their lives, WHO said.
WHO said that without TB treatment, HIV-positive people who have developed TB often die within months but noted that national TB programmes in Africa, for example, currently treat fewer than half of the HIV-positive people with active TB.