Tuberculosis testing gap among people living with HIV is narrowing

Monday 22/02/2021 14:51

VGP - The risk of developing tuberculosis among the 38 million people living with HIV in 2019 was 18 times higher than in the rest of the world’s population, according to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),

Tuberculosis remains the single largest cause of premature death among people living with HIV.

Scale-up of antiretroviral therapy and improvements in the integrated delivery of HIV and tuberculosis services have reduced tuberculosis-related deaths among people living with HIV by 69% globally, from 678 000 in 2000 to 208 000 in 2019.

Among the 131 countries that reported data to UNAIDS and the World Health Organization in 2020, 48.9% of the estimated 815 000 people living with HIV who developed tuberculosis (incident cases) received treatment for both HIV and tuberculosis.

The tuberculosis testing gap—the gap between the number of people living with HIV who are estimated to have tuberculosis and the number of people living with tuberculosis who have tested positive for HIV—is narrowing.

However, the 456 426 tuberculosis cases among people living with HIV that were notified in 2019 represented just 56% of the estimated number of incident tuberculosis cases among people living with HIV that year.

Among people living with HIV who were notified tuberculosis cases, 88% were on antiretroviral therapy in 2019.

Based on analysis of TB/HIV surveillance data to describe the trends in HIV testing coverage and HIV positivity rate among TB patients in Viet Nam during 2011–2017, 721 342 TB cases were diagnosed. Of these, 520 490 (72.2%) had a previously documented HIV status or were tested for HIV during TB care and treatment.

The proportion of TB patients whose HIV status was reported increased, from 58.5% in 2011 to 82.9% in 2017. The proportion of TB patients infected with HIV decreased, from 8.0% in 2011 to 3.7% in 2017.

Viet Nam ranks 15th among the 30 highest-TB burden countries in the world. WHO estimated Viet Nam had 124 000 incident TB cases in 2017, equivalent to an incidence rate of 129 per 100 000 population. There were 4500 TB/HIV cases, making up 3.6% of all TB cases. WHO also estimated there were 12 000 TB deaths, including 840 among people living with HIV in Viet Nam in 2017.

By Thuy Dung

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