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20 July 2019 I Mexico City, Mexico – The TB-HIV Symposium, held prior to the 10th IAS Conference on HIV Science, launched a call to action to reach out to six million people living with HIV with preventive treatment for tuberculosis (TB). Co-hosted by the International AIDS Society (IAS) in collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the topic of discussion was- A new era in TB prevention: Implications for People living with HIV.
The symposium brought together scientific, programmatic and community interests from the HIV and TB fields to share knowledge on latent TB infection, opportunities and challenges in HIV-associated TB prevention. “TB is the biggest killer among people living with HIV. We cannot reduce the mortality among people living with HIV without addressing TB”, Dr. Suvanand Sahu, Deputy Executive Director, The Stop TB Partnership.
Sessions explored research and innovation in TB prevention, treatment options and the policy and implementation approach to decrease the burden of TB in HIV programs. The discussions also focused on developments of TB vaccines and the implications for high burden HIV settings. “We need to implement TB preventive therapy with speed+scale to end TB”, said Dr. Patrick Lungu, Head of Zambia’s National TB Program.
The symposium emphasized on the action that the HIV and TB communities need to take jointly to reach global targets. A final call for action was released to define and galvanize global and national efforts to increase coverage and attention to reach the new TB prevention goals globally.