Over 900,000 lives saved with TB, HIV services: WHO

March 3rd, 2012 - 12:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Geneva, March 3 (IANS) An estimated 910,000 lives were saved globally over six years by improving collaboration between TB and HIV services that protect people living with HIV from tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

As HIV weakens the immune system, people with HIV are much more likely to be infected with TB, so it is not unusual for people who are infected with one disease to also get infected with the other, Xinhua quoted the Geneva-based WHO as saying Friday.

Since WHO proposed the initial guidance on collaboration between TB and HIV activities in 2004, the number of people living with HIV screened for TB increased almost 12-fold, from nearly 200,000 in 2005 to over 2.3 million people in 2010.

Testing for HIV among TB patients surged from 470,000 to over 2.2 million, an increase of five-fold, between 2005 and 2010.

WHO, in the wake of experiences gained over the last six years, also launched an updated global policy Friday to accelerate coordinated public health interventions to further reduce deaths from this dangerous combination of diseases.

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