World Lung Health experts discuss TB and HIV
15 October 2008
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of illness and death among people living with HIV in many parts of the world, yet TB is mostly curable and preventable.
In 2006 less than 1% of people living with HIV were screened for TB yet an estimated one-third of people living with HIV worldwide are co-infected with TB and at a high risk of developing TB disease.
In spite of the two diseases being so inextricably linked, for many years, efforts to tackle HIV and TB were largely separate. Recognising the importance of a coordination of efforts, the Union World Conference on Lung Health which runs from 16 to 20 October 2008 will hold a series of symposia on TB and HIV.
The 39th Union World Conference on Lung Health of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) takes place at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, France,. The theme of this year’s conference is “Global threats to lung health: the importance of health system responses”. In addition to some 14 symposia, a Special Session on TB/HIV programme collaboration will be held. The outcomes of this session will be followed up in 2009 Union World Conference on Lung Health.
“The lethal interaction between the HIV and TB epidemics is both a threat to global lung health and to the lives of people living with HIV,” said Alasdair Reid, UNAIDS HIV/TB Adviser.
“Increasing collaboration between TB and HIV programmes as highlighted at this conference strengthens our joint response and helps to overcome health system constraints to delivering universal access and saving lives,” Reid added.
The aim is to facilitate dialogue and exchange experiences between TB and HIV experts as it is universally recognised that improved collaboration between TB and HIV programmes will lead to more effective prevention and treatment of TB among people living with HIV and to significant public health gains.
Kaisernetwork.org is the official web caster of the 39th Union World Conference on Lung Health, providing access to daily conference developments.