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Global Community Must Integrate TB, HIV Efforts, Not Treat As Separate Diseases

Huffington Post: Why Tuberculosis And HIV Have To Be Combated Together
Rajesh Deshmukh, HIV-TB program officer with India’s National AIDS Control Organization

“India has the highest tuberculosis (TB) burden and [is] the third highest HIV burden country in the world. … National and international studies indicate that an integrated approach to TB and HIV services can be extremely effective in managing this dual menace. … The changing epidemiological scenario, drivers of the HIV epidemic, and the emergence of drug-resistant tuberculosis all warrant attention for addressing the TB-HIV situation in India. … Intensive efforts are being made to engage various stakeholders and further strengthen ongoing efforts to reduce the incidence of TB, including among people living with HIV. These efforts include raising awareness about tuberculosis, intensifying TB case finding in high-risk groups, using rapid diagnostics for early diagnosis, and increasing the collective involvement of the private sector, NGOs, and community-based organizations in working for a TB-free India” (12/5).

Huffington Post: HIV, TB, And The Battle For Global Health
Shelley Garnham, TB officer at RESULTS Canada

“…[I]f the ‘Global Community’ is to meaningfully stop TB and HIV from their global assault, it must ensure that services are coordinated, that treatment is integrated when appropriate, and that governments implement the collaborative practices that effectively and collectively address the infectious villains. In other words, there must be a shift in practice, from operating as two distinct communities — TB and HIV — each battling their own foe, and instead work as one to end the villainous reign of the ‘Deadly Duo.’ … [W]e must work together, be collaborative and flexible, and most of all, keep in mind that this enemy attacks communities, families, and individuals. No one is fighting harder against TB and HIV than those who are most immediately affected, and we must ensure that they have the tools and systems in place to defeat the forces of evil…” (12/2).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.