TB and HIV integration discussed at AIDS 2012
22 July 2012
Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the leading causes of death among people living with HIV globally, yet TB is mostly preventable and curable. Reducing TB deaths in people living with HIV by 50% by 2015 is one of the 2015 global AIDS targets.
To give voice to TB and HIV affected communities around the world by sharing their experience and views on the way forward in the fight against the two diseases, a live web casted talk show took place during the International AIDS Conference entitled “Tuberculosis + HIV: Protecting the Vulnerable”.
The talk show was hosted by Jeanne Meserve, former CNN and ABC reporter, and Gerry Elsdon, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) TB Goodwill Ambassador and a South African TV personality who suffered from tuberculosis in the past. The show brought together a dynamic group of women and young people who have suffered from tuberculosis and HIV, as well as the representatives of multilateral organizations such as the Stop TB Partnership, WHO, IFRC, the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, and UNAIDS.
The talk show also featured video addresses by Archbishop Tutu, who himself is a former TB patient and Jorge Sampai, UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Tuberculosis.
Panelists took the opportunity to highlight the need for a closer collaboration between HIV and TB programmes, and about the urgent need for better investment in TB research. They also emphasized the need to invest more in integrating TB screening, treatment and care into antenatal care and maternal and child health services in general. Children most frequently get TB infection from a close relative, usually their mother, thus preventing, diagnosing and treating TB in women will reduce the risk of TB infection and disease in children.
Ms Jan Beagle, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and External Relations, spoke during the show and reiterated UNAIDS’s commitment to working with partners in support of the global target to halve TB deaths in people living with HIV by 2015. She underscored that “UNAIDS advocates for TB service providers to reach many who are the most vulnerable and at risk, but who have the greatest problems in accessing services – migrants, indigenous people, prisoners, sex workers and women and children affected by poverty, violence, stigma and discrimination.“
The talk show was organized by the Stop TB Partnership and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.