UNAIDS calls for earlier access to HIV and TB testing and treatment services
GENEVA, 24 March 2014—On World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, UNAIDS is making an urgent call for global efforts to be stepped up to ensure earlier testing and treatment of TB and HIV. TB remains a leading cause of death among people living with HIV. In 2012, there were an estimated 1.1 million new cases of TB among people living with HIV—with 75% of new cases occurring among people living in Africa.
The dual impact of TB and HIV is devastating for millions of people and their families. This is unacceptable as TB is both preventable and curable. By expanding access to basic TB prevention for people living with HIV, the target of reducing TB deaths in people living with HIV by 50% can be reached by 2015.
Scientific studies have shown that early HIV diagnosis and access to treatment for HIV can reduce a person’s risk of TB by 65%. When treatment of TB is combined with ART, the risk of TB disease can be reduced by around 90%.
People in high-burden settings should have the opportunity to learn their HIV status and start treatment early in order to prevent active TB disease. If people living with HIV develop active TB disease then immediate ART can reduce their chance of dying by around 50%. Unfortunately, despite what is known about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of both HIV and TB, millions of people often discover too late that they have HIV and TB.
UNAIDS launched Treatment 2015 to expand access to HIV treatment, which is important to both HIV and TB prevention efforts. UNAIDS is calling for an innovative, integrated effort to prevent HIV and TB—working together to increase resources and reach everyone living with HIV with key TB prevention interventions, including earlier access to HIV and TB testing and treatment.
UNAIDS is working closely with countries, donors and partners, including the Stop TB Partnership, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, to produce sustainable solutions to fully integrate and deliver critical HIV and TB services.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners to maximize results for the AIDS response. Learn more at unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.