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Efforts To Fight HIV/AIDS, NTDs Should Be Integrated

“The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) produce a devastating level of chronic disability in sub-Saharan Africa, with some estimates suggesting that the NTD disease burden exceeds tuberculosis and is one-half that of malaria,” Julie Noblick and Richard Skolnick of George Washington University and Peter Hotez of the Sabin Vaccine Institute write in a PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases editorial. With noted relationships between the prevalence of NTDs and HIV, the diseases “demand a public health response from the established global HIV/AIDS community, in parallel with efforts to scale up NTD control,” they argue.

“We support the U.S. President’s call for integration and would favor strategic planning to examine how the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) … could advance efforts to coordinate and link the HIV/AIDS programs they support with NTD control and elimination programs,” they write, before discussing what such integration might require (7/26).