TB kills 4,000 people with HIV daily

According to a World Health Organization report, tuberculosis is still responsible for the deaths of over 4,000 people with HIV every day throughout the world.

While there was modest progress in the fight in 2009, the report states that most people with TB and HIV worldwide are not receiving the necessary isoniazid preventative therapy or antiretroviral therapy to counteract the diseases,

The findings, which were released ahead of the 41st Union World Lung Health Conference in Berlin, showed that there has been substantial improvement of HIV testing rates with TB patients.

The WHO survey showed that in 16 sub-Saharan African countries, three-quarters of those diagnosed with TB were also tested for HIV in 2009. Throughout all of sub-Saharan African, 53 percent of TB cases were tested for HIV in 2009, which is an improvement from 22 percent in 2006 and 38 percent in 2007, reports. This suggests that the effort to promote integration of TB and HIV activities is starting to have an impact.

Cotrimoxazole, an adjunct treatment to TB that reduces the mortality rate of those with HIV, has been recommended by the WHO and national guidelines, but 24 percent of those with both diseases did not receive this treatment in 2009. Antiretroviral therapy, which was recently recommended by the WHO at the end of 2009, was received by only 37 percent of coinfected people worldwide in 2009, reports. Another treatment, isoniazid preventive therapy, was only received by 15 percent of eligible African candidates.

A major goal of the Global Plan to Stop TB is to achieve 100 percent access to each of these potential treatments by 2015.