June 10th, 2008
05:15 PM ET

Global focus on HIV/TB link

By Miriam Falco
CNN Medical Managing Editor

You may not know it, but the first-ever high level meeting on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis is underway at the United Nations right now. The former president of Portugal and UN Secretary General's Special Envoy to Stop TB, Dr. Jorge Sampaio, told reporters yesterday that the "meeting was convened to draw the attention of the world to a much neglected topic" – how TB is affecting HIV/AIDS patients and vice versa.

People living with HIV/AIDS cannot be cured, but they can live longer, with the help of antiretroviral drugs. Thanks to generous donations from the Global Fund,  UNAIDS, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. PEPFAR plan – the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, even people in the poorest countries are gaining access to these life-saving drugs.

The Global Fund even documented some intriguing stories of people being pulled from the brink of death by taking anti-retroviral drugs in a collection of photographs taken by some of the world's best photographers. These pictures and stories go on display at the Mellon Library in Washington DC tomorrow, June 11th.  You can see a special preview here.

However, too many HIV/AIDS patients aren't living long enough to reap the benefits of antiretrovirals because they've dying of TB first. The World Health Organization says an estimated one third of people living with HIV or AIDS also are infected with TB. If you're one of those people, you're up to 50 times more likely to develop TB than non-HIV infected people and the WHO says TB kills up to half of all AIDS patients worldwide.

The statistics for TB around the world are quite startling. According to the latest figures from the CDC, approxiamately 2 billion people, or one third of the worlds population carry the bacteria that causes tuberculosis - that doesn't mean they have active TB, but they could develop it.

The WHO says "HIV is the most potent risk factor for converting latent TB into active TB, while TB bacteria accelerates the progress of AIDS infection in the patient." Dr. Jim Reichman from the New Jersey Medical School Global Tuberculosis Institute puts it another way: "TB accelerates AIDS and AIDS accelerates TB."

The CDC also says 16 percent of TB cases among 25-44 year-olds in the United States in 2005 were occuring in HIV infected people.

So you may not have HIV or AIDS or TB for that matter and may not live in a poor country with fewer resources to control these diseases. But, as we all learned a year ago in the Andrew Speaker case, we may be just a vacation away or a a plane trip away from coming in contact with someone carrying TB. Speaker, you may recall, is the Atlanta lawyer who contracted TB while traveling in Asia and later flew to and from Europe, knowing he had multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.

“TB is preventable and curable and it's been so for decades" says Dr. Reichmann. This is why health officials are trying to convince the global leaders gathering at the U.N. today, to encourage countries around the world to invest more in TB prevention and treatment. To paraphrase many TB & AIDS experts, to control TB anywhere, you have to control it everywhere. But so far there's no big celebrity sponsored campaign to raise a lot of money for eradicating TB. That's why Dr. Marcos Espinal, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership told reporters yesterday, "what's highly needed is a global plan for TB and that countries embrace the plan" in order to stop the spread of HIV and TB.

Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. candy

    if you are HIV positive and have taken the TB drug for nine months, are you still suseptible to get TB. Does taking the drug speed up the disease later resulting in AIDs

    June 11, 2008 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. sprzedam samochód

    Bardzo lubię patrzeć i uważam, że ta strona zawiera naprawdę przydatne rzeczy! https://samocholand.pl/samochody/

    January 5, 2021 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. buy hiv medications

    I am constantly looking online for posts that can facilitate me. Thx! https://hivmedi.com buy hiv medications https://hivmedi.com/

    February 23, 2021 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. sildenafil generic price

    sildenafil 50mg price pharmacy https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ buy sildenafil 50mg uk

    April 11, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. tadalafil max dose

    tadalafil 60 mg for sale https://elitadalafill.com/ buy tadalafil us

    April 21, 2021 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. alprostadil injection demonstration

    alprostadil gel online https://alprostadildrugs.com/ aloprostadil

    April 22, 2021 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. vardenafil grapefruit interaction

    does canada sell generic vardenafil https://vegavardenafil.com/ vardenafil cost

    April 25, 2021 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. cvs men's sexual health supplements

    erectile home remedy https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ is erectile dysfunction psychological

    May 2, 2021 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. hydroxychloroquin

    cloraquinn https://chloroquineorigin.com/ chloroquine phosphate side effects

    May 6, 2021 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. dapoxetine

    priligy pills usa dapoxetine ed

    May 8, 2021 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. combigan

    brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic combigan eye drops generic

    May 15, 2021 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. avana

    avana tablet avanafil

    May 15, 2021 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. combigan

    brimonidine use buy combigan

    May 24, 2021 at 08:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. cyclomune

    cyclosporine eye drops buy cyclomune uk

    May 24, 2021 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. purchase peptides tadalafil

    cost tadalafil generic tadalafil vs cialis reviews tadalafil contraindications

    June 6, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. buy cialis pills

    tidalafil cheap generic cialis for sale tadalafil tablets 40mg

    June 7, 2021 at 05:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. chloroquine sulfate

    hydroxychloroquine treats what buy chloroquine uk hydroxy chloroquine

    June 7, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. pharmacepticacom

    hydroxychloroquine usmle https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 02:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. www.pharmaceptica.com

    hydroxychloroquine risks https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 06:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. pharmaceptica

    chloroquinolone malaria https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 03:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. asia to bet

    Tỷ Lệ Bóng ĐáTỷ Lệ Bóng Đá beat hai mai nha tranhHai trận đấu của lượt cuối mỗi bảng bắt buộc phải thi đấu cùng giờ. Kết thúc vòng bảng, đội nhất, nhì các bảng và four đội xếp thứ ba có thành tích tốt nhất sẽ giành quyền vào vòng 16 đội.


    June 26, 2021 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. pharmaceptica.com

    erectile massage therapy https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 09:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. www.pharmaceptica.com

    erectile triggers https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply

Leave a Reply to chloroquine sulfate


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.