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Treating TB, HIV Co-Infections Early, Aggressively Can Save Lives, Multiple Studies Show

“Treating tuberculosis (TB) and HIV infections at the same time can be a challenge for patients and their doctors, but attacking both diseases early and aggressively isn’t harmful and could save the lives of those who are sickest,” according to a global study led by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The study found that patients whose immune systems have been most damaged by HIV were 40 percent less likely to die or develop AIDS if they began antiretroviral treatment (ART) “two weeks after starting TB treatment, instead of waiting eight to 12 weeks, as is commonly done now,” the newspaper writes.

E-Voucher Program Providing Food To Malnourished Zimbabweans Living With HIV, TB

An electronic voucher system, introduced by the World Food Programme (WFP) and implemented by the health ministry and non-governmental organizations, is helping Zimbabweans living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) and their families obtain food and fight malnutrition, PlusNews reports. “The program supports about 5,000 patients and their families with essential food items and is operating at seven health facilities in the capital [Harare] and has been extended to the second-largest city, Bulawayo,” the news service writes.

Committed Action, Continued Funding Needed In Global Campaign Against TB

A Lancet editorial responds to the WHO’s sixteenth annual report on global tuberculosis (TB) control, released on Oct 11, which shows that the incidence of tuberculosis has been falling worldwide since 2002, writing, “Successes in disease control in China and other countries show what sustained political and economic support can achieve. Rather than waiting for the elixir of economic success to arrive in all high-burden countries, committed action by donors, agencies, and governments in the most challenging settings is needed in the global campaign against tuberculosis.”

Eli Lilly To Pledge $30M To MDR-TB Partnership

Pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Co. is expected to announce on Tuesday it “is pledging $30 million to help fight multidrug-resistant tuberculosis [MDR-TB] in developing countries, a disease that kills more than 150,000 people a year,” according to the Indianapolis Star. The funds, part of the company’s eight-year-old, $165 million Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, will help to “provide training for nurses, doctors and community volunteers; conduct studies on how to combat the disease; and provide access to medicines,” the newspaper notes. The campaign will focus on China, India, Russia and South Africa, “the four countries with the highest burden of MDR-TB, Lilly said,” the Indianapolis Star writes (10/25).

Virtual Platform For Intellectual Property Sharing Aims To Speed Development Of Drug Treatments

“The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched a consortium on Wednesday that would allow the public and private sector to share intellectual property to promote the development of new drugs to treat diseases such as malaria,” Reuters reports (10/26). “Under the agreement between [WIPO], … the companies and the non-profit BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), public and private sector organizations will share valuable intellectual property (IP) and expertise with the global health research community on WIPO Re:Search, a virtual platform,” the U.N. News Centre writes (10/26).

PlusNews Interviews Stop TB Director Mario Raviglione

At the recent International Lung Health Conference in Lille, France, IRIN/PlusNews spoke with Stop TB Director Mario Raviglione about the threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), its treatment and “the precarious TB funding gap,” the news service writes. In the interview, Raviglione discusses the Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS) approach to TB treatment, the issue of second-line TB drugs, and the future of TB funding, among other issues (10/31).

Science Speaks Reports Results Of Zambia-South Africa TB And AIDS Reduction Program Study

This post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports the results of a Zambia-South Africa TB and AIDS Reduction (ZAMSTAR) program study, released Monday, which “demonstrate that household counseling — defined as the unpacking of concerns about TB and HIV within households and facilitating prompt diagnosis and treatment…

Advocates Push For Integration of HIV/TB Funding, Programming In Kenya

This post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog reports on a presentation at the Union World Conference on Lung Health in France on Saturday by Evelyne Kibuchi, a senior tuberculosis (TB) advocacy officer at the Kenya AIDS NGOs Consortium (KANCO), writing, “HIV stakeholders have been slow to…