Joint Efforts of Health Services saved 910,000 lives from HIV, TB
The joint efforts of the health services have saved lives of about 910,000 people globally from AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB) over a period of six years, according World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO reported that the period from 2005 to 2010 had witnessed a steep rise in the HIV patients tested for Tuberculosis and vice-versa.
This compelled the doctors to treat people quickly to prevent the other patients from getting infected with TB and curb the spread of TB, the WHO added. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes AIDS and attacks the immune system of the person, weakening it. Thus, the AIDS patients are more prone to get infected with TB.
Nearly 34 million people are the victims of HIV globally. There are high death rates among the HIV patients, mainly in poor countries. More than 100 countries are currently testing at least 50% TB patients for HIV, reported WHO.
“Progress was especially noteworthy in Africa where the number of countries testing more than half their TB patients for HIV rose from five in 2005 to 31 in 2010,” WHO said. There is almost 12-fold increase in the number of HIV positive patients’ screened for TB, said WHO after issuing statistic on the impact of its 2004 guidelines on HIV and TB.
The WHO has released a new global policy in order to accelerate the coordination of public health services to further reduce TB and HIV death rates. “This framework is the international standard for the prevention, care and treatment of TB and HIV patients to reduce deaths – and we have strong evidence that it works,” said Mr. Mario Raviglione (director of the WHO’s Stop TB department).