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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

TB: The forgotten global health threat

As Congressional Committees debate the future of critical global health programs, they must not forget an all too neglected global health threat – tuberculosis (TB). 
TB is the second largest killer behind HIV/AIDS, taking the lives of 4,000 people a day. TB is also the most common cause of death among people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.  More than 1,000 people infected with HIV die every day from TB.  Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS constitute a deadly combination that speeds the progression of illness and death.  As the former U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and the current UN Special Envoy on TB, I can attest to the fact that HIV/AIDS and TB are true partners in crime.
Of the estimated 9 million annual deaths from all infectious causes, 1.5 million are caused by tuberculosis. That translates into one out of six deaths of all infectious diseases.  Moreover, we are detecting only half of the estimated people suffering from HIV- associated tuberculosis and an alarming 45 percent of the estimated people with multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB).  READ MORE

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