Reaching the targets for tuberculosis control: the impact of HIV
KF Laserson, CD Wells
In 1991, the 44th World Health Assembly set two key targets for global tuberculosis (TB) control to be reached by 2000: 70% case detection of acid-fast bacilli smear-positive TB patients under the DOTS strategy recommended by WHO and 85% treatment success of those detected. This paper describes how TB control was scaled up to achieve these targets; it also considers the barriers encountered in reaching the targets, with a particular focus on how HIV infection affects TB control.
Strong TB control will be facilitated by scaling-up WHO-recommended TB/HIV collaborative activities and by improving coordination between HIV and TB control programmes; in particular, to ensure control of drug-resistant TB. Required activities include more HIV counselling and testing of TB patients, greater use and acceptance of isoniazid as a preventive treatment in HIV-infected individuals, screening for active TB in HIV-care settings, and provision of universal access to antiretroviral treatment for all HIV-infected individuals eligible for such treatment. Integration of TB and HIV services in all facilities (i.e. in HIV-care settings and in TB clinics), especially at the periphery, is needed to effectively treat those infected with both diseases, to prolong their survival and to maximize limited human resources.
Global TB targets can be met, particularly if there is renewed attention to TB/HIV collaborative activities combined with tremendous political commitment and will.