Coinfection of HIV and TB is both common and dangerous, as each disease reinforces the other’s attacks on a child’s health.
HIV is the leading risk factor for TB, and TB is among the greatest threats to the health and survival of people living with HIV, particularly children. TB coinfection can derail HIV care by complicating treatment, interfering with follow-up, and accelerating the rate at which HIV replicates inside the body.
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) is among the organisations that has made TB prevention and care a fundamental component of its efforts to end HIV and AIDS.
“We can’t expect to win the fight against one disease if we’re not prepared to fight the other at the same time,” Chip Lyons, President and CEO of EGPAF, says.
“Integrating TB prevention, diagnosis, and care into our HIV services will not only limit the harm TB inflicts on children with HIV, but also allow us to increase diagnosis and treatment of HIV infections in women and families.”
This summer, global stakeholders will convene in Amsterdam to consider the future of their battle against the HIV epidemic. Many of them will increasingly focus not just on the virus that causes AIDS, but also on its frequent accomplice: tuberculosis (TB).
For more information on EGPAF and how it is working to fight both HIV and TB, visit www.pedaids.org.