Today, Monday, March 24, 2014, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) joins the international community in commemorating World TB Day and those who have lost their lives to this terrible disease; TB is second only to HIV/AIDS in global deaths due to infectious diseases. Moreover, the World Health Organization estimates that at least one-third of the nearly 36 million people living with HIV/AIDS are also infected with TB. TB is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. With these two diseases so closely linked, the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of a 50 percent reduction of TB-related deaths is integral to achieving an AIDS-free generation.
Despite the staggering cost of lives due to co-infection between TB and HIV, we at PEPFAR, in conjunction with our partners implementing TB programs around the world, are encouraged to see progress over the past few years in combatting co-infection. In 2012:
- Rates of ART coverage among TB/HIV patients globally rose from 49 percent in 2011 to 57 percent.
- 4.1 million people enrolled in HIV care were screened for TB in 2012, up from 3.5 million in 2011.
- The percentage of TB patients who knew their HIV status rose from 69 percent in 2011 to 74 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.
The effects of co-infection between HIV and TB cannot be understated which is why PEPFAR addresses the deadly links between these two diseases as a top policy and programmatic priority. Our efforts are focused on prevention, care, and treatment programs as outlined in the 2012 PEPFAR Blueprint [PDF 2.83KB].
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