A recent study by disease experts has found that one in four TB deaths are HIV related, nearly double that as previously thought. The World Health Organization says that the co-infection is still a major challenge and that HIV and TB services should join together to treat the conditions in tandem.
Tuberculosis kills more people with HIV than any other disease, but only 1% of people with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus were screened for Tuberculosis in 2008. It is estimated that in 2007 there was 1.37 million new cases of TB in HIV sufferers worldwide and over 450,000 deaths.
Director of the World Health Organization, Dr Margaret Chan said: “These findings point to an urgent need to find, prevent and treat TB in people living with HIV and to test for HIV in all patients with TB”.
And added that: “Countries can only do that through stronger collaborative programmes and stronger health systems that address both diseases.”
According to the Health Protection Agency, UK cases of TB have increase 2% since 2007 rising to 8,679 cases in 2008. London still has the most new diagnoses of TB with 3,415 reported cases in 2008, about 39% of the total for the whole of the UK.