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Issue No. 12 | March 23, 2007

News and Features

Tomorrow Is World TB Day

Saturday, March 24, is World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. Each year, World TB Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the milestones that have been achieved toward the elimination of TB and to evaluate what still needs to be done to achieve that goal.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB, is the world's most successful pathogen, according to TB researcher Dr. William R. Jacobs, Jr., Ph.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. He says, "The bacterium infects one-third of the world's population and can survive for decades inside immune system cells, called macrophages, that kill many other disease-causing organisms."

HIV-positive people are much more vulnerable to contracting life-threatening infections like TB. However, an HIV-positive person who contracts TB can be treated effectively with drugs such as isoniazid, rifampin, and rifabutin. Click here to see more specific information about TB drug regimens.

Read the official statement from the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) on this year's observance of World TB Day.

Learn more about TB at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Tuberculosis Elimination Web site. MedLinePlus has the latest news about diagnosis and treatment of  TB. Also check out AIDSinfo resources about HIV and co-infection with TB.

Focus on HIV Treatment Adherence

Almost 100% adherence to anti-HIV treatment is necessary for patients to achieve long-term viral suppression and reduce HIV-related complications and death. In the United States, adherence rates are estimated to be about 70%, which means that many HIV-infected patients are at risk for experiencing drug resistance, treatment failure, and progression to AIDS and death.

To address these issues, the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) will be hosting the 2nd Annual International Conference on HIV Treatment Adherence from March 28-30. The conference will focus on current HIV treatment adherence research and innovative strategies for increasing patient adherence. 

Many studies have been conducted to determine the causes of nonadherence, to create tools to measure patient adherence and to develop effective strategies for promoting optimal adherence.

The AIDS Education and Training Center's Clinical Manual for the Management of the HIV-Infected Adult has a chapter on treatment adherence that provides patient adherence assessments for use in clinical practice.

Several interventional methods are available to increase treatment adherence. The AIDSinfo Treatment Adherence supplement contains patient-, provider-, and regimen-specific strategies shown in clinical research to promote adherence in adults and adolescents. The Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in Pediatric HIV Infection contain both age-appropriate assessments and strategies for promoting treatment adherence in children and adolescents.

AIDSinfo also provides educational material that can be distributed directly to patients to increase awareness about the importance of treatment adherence:

  • What Is Treatment Adherence?
  • Adhering to My HIV Treatment Regimen