People living with HIV are around 30 times more likely to develop TB than persons without HIV. TB is the most common presenting illness among people living with HIV, including those taking antiretroviral treament and it is the major cause of HIV-related death. Sub-Saharan Africa bears the brunt of the dual epidemic, accounting for approximately 75% of the estimated burden in 2012.
Collaborative TB/HIV Activities
To address HIV-related TB WHO recommends a 12 point package of collaborative TB/HIV activities. These collaborative TB/HIV activities have the objectives of creating the mechanism of collaboration between TB and HIV programmes, reducing the burden of TB among people living with HIV and reducing the burden of HIV among TB patients. It is estimated that implementation of the collaborative TB/HIV activities from 2005 to 2011 saved 1.3 million lives but much more needs to be done to achieve universal access to these life-saving measures and to eliminate HIV-associated TB deaths.
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The Global TB/HIV Working Group
The Global TB/HIV Working Group, whose Secretariat is managed by WHO, was established in 2001 with the aim of coordinating, monitoring, advising, collecting and sharing information around the global response to HIV associated TB. The working group has played a crucial role in advancing the TB/HIV research agenda and in catalysing scale-up of the collaborative TB/HIV activities.