New Delhi: In a bid to tackle the rising
number of HIV-Tuberculosis co-infection cases, health
activists today asked the government to develop faster and
better TB testing technology which provides early diagnosis.
The NGOs Global Health Advocates (GHA) and INP+ made
recommendations to National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO)
which will device a National Strategic Plan in September for
the fourth phase of National AIDS Control Program (NACP-IV)
that will run from 2012 to 2017.
Seeking relief for millions of patients across the
country, the NGOs suggested that there should be intense
identification of people with HIV-TB co-infection and
prevention of TB among People Living with HIV (PLHIV) through
"TB is the leading cause of death amongst PLHIV. Nearly
60 per cent HIV infected people die of complications due to TB
infection," Mamta Jacob of GHA told a news agency.
The three major recommendations made by GHA and INP+
include intense identification of people with HIV-TB
co-infection, developing faster and better TB testing
technology which provides early diagnosis and prevention of TB
among PLHIV through cross-referral, she said.
"Steps should be taken to introduce Isoniazad Preventive
Treatment (IPT) for those PLHIV who are eligible and should be
protected against becoming ill with TB," she said, adding that
the health care provider should check the HIV or TB patient`s
blood samples for any corresponding infections.
"We have recommended to come up with a single poly pill
medicine on ATT and ART for patients suffering from HIV-TB
co-infection," Jacob said.
India has 1.8 million new cases of Tuberculosis annually,
almost one-fifth of the world`s new cases.
HIV prevalence among adult population in 2007 was 0.34
per cent and in 2008 it was 0.29 per cent. The number of PLHIV
in the country was estimated at 2.27 million in 2008 while in
2007 it was 2.31 million.
The recommendations are based on a national consultation
among over 700 representatives from 21 states who came
together to discuss gaps in the program specific to TB-HIV
co-infection. These representatives include members of the
civil society, PLHIV and funding agencies, INP+ and GHA India.