THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

UNAIDS director calls for zero parallel systems for TB and HIV

Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé announced a call this week for zero parallel systems for HIV and tuberculosis on World TB Day 2013.

Zero parallel systems means that systems for TB and HIV should be fully integrated, requiring that each person living with HIV be tested for TB and vice versa. Sidibé said people with TB who are HIV-positive should be immediately started on antiretroviral treatment.

"(Zero parallel systems) can be achieved if governments, partners, businesses, civil society and people living with HIV and TB - commit resources, energies and embrace a collaborative spirit to end the HIV and TB co-epidemic," Sidibé said.

Sidibé said the funding gap must be closed to focus on TB and HIV hotspots to prevent a re-emergent disaster of HIV and drug resistant TB. UNAIDS plans to work closely with donors, countries and partners, particularly the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Stop TB Partnership to come up with sustainable solutions for completely integrated HIV and TB systems and services.

"There are less than 1,000 days remaining to achieve the targets in the 2011 United Nations General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS," Sidibé said. "Member states committed to halving the number of TB deaths in people living with HIV. Any time wasted will be precious lives lost."

Sidibé said more than 1,000 people with HIV die of tuberculosis every day.