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Issue No. 13 | March 21, 2008

News and Features

World Tuberculosis Day - March 24th, 2008

Monday, March 24, is World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, a day set aside to recognize the progress made, and challenges remaining, in the fight against TB. In addition to affecting the general population, TB has a devastating impact on people with HIV/AIDS. Approximately 9.2 million new cases of TB were diagnosed in 2006, 700,000 of which occurred in individuals coinfected with HIV. Of the 1.7 million people who died of TB in 2006, 200,000 were coinfected with HIV.

TB and HIV strongly affect the disease progression of one another. Because of this, it is imperative that people diagnosed with HIV have convenient and reliable access to TB testing (and people diagnosed with TB have similar access to HIV testing) so appropriate treatment and prevention measures can be initiated for the good of the individual patient and to fight the continued spread of both infections. Additionally, the increase in cases of multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB) in places with high rates of TB/HIV coinfection is of particular concern.

Complete control of TB depends on effective prevention. As such, a TB vaccine, ideally one that is safe and effective for HIV-infected individuals, continues to be a main goal of NIAID-directed TB research efforts.

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HIV-Infected Children Show Decreased Bone Mineral Density with Tenofovir Use

A recent study determined that off-label use of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) in children and adolescents affects bone mineral density (BMD). Researchers found that five out of six HIV-infected children who received TDF exhibited a loss in BMD between 6% and 27%. Following withdrawal of TDF, the BMD of one child recovered.

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