Health: Tuberculosis-HIV Co-infection

House of Lords written question – answered on 10th February 2010.

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Photo of Baroness Masham of Ilton Baroness Masham of Ilton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government how they are combating tuberculosis-HIV co-infection in the United Kingdom and overseas.

Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Government Whip, Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The following guidance documents have recommendations about tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infected patients, and the Department recommends that all service users follow these recommendations:

Clinical Diagnosis and Management of Tuberculosis, and Measures for its Prevention and Control (National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), 2006);

Tuberculosis Prevention and Treatment: a Toolkit for Planning, Commissioning and Delivering High-Quality Services in England (DH, 2007);

Recommended Standards for NHS HIV Services (2003);

HIV in Primary Care (2004); and

HIV for non-HIV Specialists (2008)

Copies of the documents have already been placed in the Library. Other Governments within the United Kingdom either follow these recommendations, or have developed their own local versions.

The NICE guidelines recommend that all patients with tuberculosis should have a risk assessment for HIV, and upon sufficient suspicion that patient should be offered an HIV test along with any counselling required. NICE has clear recommendations about joint case management for co-infected cases by both TB and HIV professions. All London TB services have adopted a policy of automatically offering all TB patients an HIV test.

The government response to TB-HIV co-infection overseas is led by the Department for International Development (DFID). There is a commitment of £1 billion between 2007 and 2015 to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and a 20-year (2006¬2026), commitment to the international drugs purchase facility UNITAID which is helping to increase access to and affordability of HIV and TB drugs.

The Government also support the scale-up efforts to deliver universal access to TB and HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services by 2015; to strengthen health systems; to integrate health services, including HIV and TB; and to increase investment and facilitate research to promote the development of better tools for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB.

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