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Lessons Learned From Global Response To HIV/AIDS Could Help Inform TB, NCD Control Efforts

Project Syndicate: TB, NCDs, and the Lessons of HIV
Elizabeth Radin, lecturer in epidemiology and technical director of the PHIA Project at ICAP at Columbia University; Miriam Rabkin, professor of medicine and epidemiology and director of Health Systems Strategies at ICAP; and Wafaa El-Sadr, professor of epidemiology and medicine and director of ICAP

“…Efforts to control TB and [noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)] — which, like HIV/AIDS, place a heavy burden on low- and middle-income countries — can leverage the lessons learned from the response to HIV. Three lessons in particular stand out. First, as the global AIDS response expanded, it faced the dual challenge of including hard-to-reach communities while continuing to support a growing number of patients receiving treatment. In response, HIV programs have evolved to offer services shaped by the preferences of patients. … A similar approach could be taken for TB and NCDs. … Second, HIV programs succeeded in part because they established goals for the entire ‘cascade of care’ — from diagnosis to treatment. … Targets along the cascade could be similarly beneficial for controlling TB and NCDs. … Finally, the AIDS effort was able to expand as a result of strong advocacy and collaborations that reshaped markets for diagnostic and treatment programs. … Likewise, controlling TB and NCDs will require making medications more convenient and affordable. … [W]ith the AIDS response blueprint already in hand, there is no need to reinvent the wheel” (11/13).

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