TB/HIV Co-Infection, Drug Resistance Posing Threat to Some Asian Nations, Report Says
Increasing drug resistance among tuberculosis patients, many of whom are co-infected with HIV, could undermine efforts to curb TB-related deaths in some Asian countries, according to a report released Thursday by the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Xinhuanet reports. TB/HIV co-infection has become a major concern in several areas of Cambodia, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam and is increasing among some populations in China and Malaysia, according to the report, which was release during a meeting in Noumea, New Caledonia (Xinhuanet, 9/23). TB is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV/AIDS in the region, and the rise in the number of TB/HIV co-infections is hampering WHO efforts to reduce TB prevalence and mortality rates, the report says. In addition, the emergence of multi-drug resistant TB, particularly in China and Mongolia, is hampering the fight against the disease in the region, according to WHO/WPRO Regional Adviser for TB Dongil Ahn. WHO officials called for increased access to effective drugs and greater surveillance of the TB/HIV co-epidemic to curb the spread of TB and reduce the number of deaths from the disease in the region (Perry, Reuters AlertNet, 9/23).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.