ID, HIV experts urge more resources for TB

March 20, 2008

In honor of World TB Day 2008 (March 24), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the HIVMA Medicine Association (HIVMA) are urging U.S. policymakers to step up the fight against tuberculosis by committing substantial resources against the disease both at home and abroad.

With drug-resistant strains of TB on the rise and progress in detecting new cases on the decline, resources are needed to support TB care, surveillance, infection control, and research into new drugs, diagnostics, and vaccines.

“The standard test for diagnosing TB is more than 100 years old and it fails to adequately detect the disease in children and people with HIV. The newest class of TB drugs is more than 40 years old and does a poor job on drug-resistant TB. Today’s TB vaccine is more than 85 years old and is not highly effective, and for that reason it is not recommended for routine use in the United States,” said Carol Dukes Hamilton, MD, an IDSA and HIVMA spokesperson who works on TB and HIV in the United States and the developing world.

TB remains one of the leading infectious disease killers worldwide, with about 9 million new cases and almost 2 million deaths each year. In the U.S. alone, about 10 million to 14 million people are estimated to be infected with latent tuberculosis. Active TB can be easily passed to others—even healthy adults and children—simply by breathing the same air. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly half a million cases of TB are resistant to first-line drugs.

In the developing world, TB is the leading killer of people with HIV. The two epidemics fuel each other in a vicious cycle. People with HIV are more susceptible to getting sick and dying from TB if they are exposed, and TB bacteria accelerate the progression of HIV to AIDS. Absent a comprehensive plan to control tuberculosis, this deadly infection threatens to undermine the gains that have been made in saving the lives of persons living with HIV in the developing world.

Legislation in both the House and Senate would devote substantial resources—$4 billion over five years—to stopping TB in the developing world through the President’s Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR supports HIV/AIDS programs in 15 countries that comprise 21 percent of the global TB burden and 24 percent of the world’s annual TB deaths. The program offers millions more in support of HIV prevention and treatment activities in scores of other developing countries.

“The U.S. government has been a leader in stopping HIV/AIDS in the developing world,” said Dr. Hamilton. “We must show the same bold leadership on tuberculosis; otherwise, we run the risk of losing ground on control of tuberculosis—including highly drug-resistant TB—and HIV/AIDS.”

Unfortunately, the Bush administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2009 includes significant cuts for TB and other infectious disease programs. Especially hard-hit is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which would see a cut of nearly half a billion dollars in its total budget. IDSA supports increasing CDC’s overall budget by 15 percent and devoting $300 million for efforts to prevent, control, and eliminate tuberculosis in the United States. Likewise, IDSA supports increased resources for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s TB programs. NIH expects to spends about $187 million on TB in fiscal year 2009, including $17 million on efforts to find a new vaccine.

Source: Infectious Diseases Society of America

Explore further: Urine test developed to test for tuberculosis

Related Stories

Urine test developed to test for tuberculosis

December 14, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has developed a urine test that can be used to detect tuberculosis (TB) in human patients. In their paper published in Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Immunotherapy, gene editing advances extend to Type 1 Diabetes

December 13, 2017
Advances in engineering T cells to treat cancer are paving the way for new immunotherapies targeted at autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes. Now, researchers are also investigating therapies that reprogram T cells ...

Why simple school sores often lead to heart and kidney disease in Indigenous children

December 11, 2017
Impetigo, also known as school sores, is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection that occurs in children far more frequently than adults. It is one of the most common bacterial infections in children aged two to five ...

NIH and partners launch HIV vaccine efficacy study

November 30, 2017
The National Institutes of Health and partners have launched a large clinical trial to assess whether an experimental HIV vaccine regimen is safe and able to prevent HIV infection. The new Phase 2b proof-of-concept study, ...

Rising HIV infections see Iran challenge notions about sex

November 29, 2017
In a square in a poor eastern Tehran neighborhood known for its drug addicts and dealers, psychologist Atefeh Azimi draws another drop of blood from a worried passer-by's finger.

Designer proteins—the new generation of HIV vaccines being put to the test

November 30, 2017
South Africa has made tremendous advances in providing lifesaving antiretroviral therapy for HIV infected people. The country has the largest treatment programme in the world.

Recommended for you

40 years after first Ebola outbreak, survivors show signs they can stave off new infection

December 14, 2017
Survivors of the first known Ebola outbreak, which occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, may be key to development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs to treat future outbreaks, according to a new study ...

Aging impairs innate immune response to flu

December 13, 2017
Aging impairs the immune system's response to the flu virus in multiple ways, weakening resistance in older adults, according to a Yale study. The research reveals why older people are at increased risk of illness and death ...

Lyme bacteria survive 28-day course of antibiotics months after infection

December 13, 2017
Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a leading sponsor of Lyme disease research in the US, today announced results of two papers published in the peer-reviewed journals PLOS ONE and American Journal of Pathology, that seem to support ...

Drug blocks Zika, other mosquito-borne viruses in cell cultures

December 12, 2017
If there was a Mafia crime family of the virus world, it might be flaviviruses.

Study seeks to aid diagnosis, management of catatonia

December 11, 2017
Catatonia, a syndrome of motor, emotional and behavioral abnormalities frequently characterized by muscular rigidity and a trance-like mental stupor and at times manifesting with great excitement or agitation, can occur during ...

New compound stops progressive kidney disease in its tracks

December 7, 2017
Progressive kidney diseases, whether caused by obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or rare genetic mutations, often have the same outcome: The cells responsible for filtering the blood are destroyed. Reporting today in Science, ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

herpesdate
not rated yet Mar 21, 2008

There are over 65 million Americans currently living with an STD, 19 million new STD infections each year, one in three sexually active men and women living with Herpes, and about 50% of all sexually active Americans affected by HPV. One-third of all single and dating Americans now exploring online personal ads (BusinessWeek, 2008) and niche dating has never been hotter at www.herpesfinder.com

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.