Press statement

World TB Day 2012

Message from UNAIDS Executive Director Mr. Michel Sidibé

UNAIDS Executive Director (center) visited the Prince Cyril Zulu TB and STD Clinic and the CAPRISA eThekwini Research Clinic on September 2011 during an official visit to South Africa. The Prince Cyril Zulu clinic treats about 8 000 new TB patients a year with an HIV prevalence of 74%. The SAPiT TB-HIV trial which provided the evidence for the current WHO TB-HIV co-treatment guidelines was conducted in the adjoining CAPRISA clinic.
Credit: UNAIDS/A. Debiky

GENEVA, 22 March 2012—On World TB Day, let’s celebrate a partnership, which in just a few years is helping to transform the AIDS epidemic.

By improving collaboration between HIV and TB services almost one million lives around the world have been saved in the past six years.

The number of people living with HIV screened for TB increased almost 12-fold from 2005 to 2010.

For patients, integrating HIV and TB services means a better quality of life. They spend less time going from clinic to clinic and waste less money on visits to multiple care providers.

It can also mean the difference between life and death.

Together we can be proud of our achievements.

But we haven’t reached our goal of stopping TB-related HIV deaths.

Every day a thousand people living with HIV die of TB.

These deaths just aren’t acceptable when TB is preventable and curable with inexpensive drugs.

We need to intensify the integration of HIV and TB services at every level of the health system.

We need a stronger focus on preventing, diagnosing and treating TB in children living with HIV, who are particularly vulnerable to TB infection.

All TB patients living with HIV must be put on antiretroviral therapy as quickly as possible.

Last year countries committed for the first time to cut in half the number of deaths among people living with HIV by 2015.

Having travelled so far together, I am sure we will reach the final mile.

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