Health Newsfeed # 1081
TUBERCULOSIS LINKED TO HIV INFECTION RATES
Two-thirds of all the HIV-positive people in the world live in sub-Saharan Africa. That's more than 20-million people, and a quarter of them face another deadly disease as well: tuberculosis.
TB kills more people than any other infectious disease. Unlike HIV, it can be transmitted through the air. One good coughing bout in a public place can infect dozens. Tuberculosis is tough enough on a healthy immune system but in one already weakened by HIV, it races along practically unchecked. Dr. Richard Chaisson directs the Johns Hopkins Center for Tuberculosis research. In a recent report he said current world health policies ignore the strong link between the diseases. What should we be doing?
We can identify people who have the TB infection, but who haven't yet gotten ill with it, and then we can give them medication to prevent them from getting sick. It's not been practiced in developing countries because it's felt to be too expensive. :14
Dr. Chaisson says it's even more expensive to treat cases of tuberculosis after they develop, especially when many could have been prevented.
At the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, I'm Tom Haederle reporting.
Copyright 1999 The Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved. June 99/International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease