Challenges and opportunities to prevent tuberculosis in people living with HIV in low-income countries

A D Harries, V Schwoebel, I Monedero-Recuero, T K Aung, S Chadha, C-Y Chiang, F Conradie, J-P Dongo, E Heldal, P Jensen, J P K Nyengele, K G Koura, A M V Kumar, Y Lin, N Mlilo, A Nakanwagi-Mukwaya, R T Ncube, R Nyinoburyo, N L Oo, L N PatelA Piubello, I D Rusen, T Sanda, S Satyanarayana, I Syed, A S Thu, J Tonsing, A Trébucq, V Zamora, C Zishiri, S G Hinderaker, N Aït-Khaled, A Roggi, J Caminero Luna, S M Graham, R A Dlodlo, P I Fujiwara

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19 Citations (Scopus)


People living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (PLHIV) are at high risk for tuberculosis (TB), and TB is a major cause of death in PLHIV. Preventing TB in PLHIV is therefore a key priority. Early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in asymptomatic PLHIV has a potent TB preventive effect, with even more benefits in those with advanced immunodeficiency. Applying the most recent World Health Organization recommendations that all PLHIV initiate ART regardless of clinical stage or CD4 cell count could provide a considerable TB preventive benefit at the population level in high HIV prevalence settings. Preventive therapy can treat tuberculous infection and prevent new infections during the course of treatment. It is now established that isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) combined with ART among PLHIV significantly reduces the risk of TB and mortality compared with ART alone, and therefore has huge potential benefits for millions of sufferers. However, despite the evidence, this intervention is not implemented in most low-income countries with high burdens of HIV-associated TB. HIV and TB programme commitment, integration of services, appropriate screening procedures for excluding active TB, reliable drug supplies, patient-centred support to ensure adherence and well-organised follow-up and monitoring that includes drug safety are needed for successful implementation of IPT, and these features would also be needed for future shorter preventive regimens. A holistic approach to TB prevention in PLHIV should also include other important preventive measures, such as the detection and treatment of active TB, particularly among contacts of PLHIV, and control measures for tuberculous infection in health facilities, the homes of index patients and congregate settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-251
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2019


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