The latest international news, analysis and features on the HIV epidemic from AVERT. Share your views and expertise with your peers in the comments box below the articles.
For the first time ever, more people have died from tuberculosis (TB) than from HIV, making TB the biggest infectious disease killer globally.
This World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, UNAIDS have called for a greater integration of HIV and TB services in order to combat the dual epidemics. In 2013, over 9 million people were diagnosed with TB, of which 1.1 million were also living with HIV. PLHIV are around 30 times more likely to develop opportunistic infections such as TB, with TB being the leading cause of death for PLHIV – among this group, 360,000 deaths can be attributed to TB alone.
The recent Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leon has disrupted HIV care in the country, with hospitals closed because they are overrun with Ebola patients, and non-Ebola patients are too afraid to visit hospitals in fear of getting the virus. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has raised concerns, believing this may lead to an increase in HIV prevalence and antiretroviral drug resistance.
The large majority of cases of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, were acquired via person-to-person, and not as a result of treatment failure, as originally believed. These results were presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle this week, and demonstrate the need to focus attention on infection control and prevention in the region.