Isoniazid preventive therapy for people living with HIV: Public health challenges and implementation issues

N. Aït-Khaled, E. Alarcon, K. Bissell, F. Boillot, J. A. Caminero, C. Y. Chiang, P. Clevenbergh, R. Dlodlo, D. A. Enarson, P. Enarson, O. Ferroussier, P. I. Fujiwara, A. D. Harries, E. Heldal, S. G. Hinderaker, S. J. Kim, C. Lienhardt, H. L. Rieder, I. D. Rusen, A. TrébucqA. Van Deun, N. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) is recognised as an important component of collaborative tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activities to reduce the burden of TB in people living with HIV (PLHIV). However, there has been little in the way of IPT implementation at country level. This failure has resulted in a recent call to arms under the banner title of the 'Three I's' (infection control to prevent nosocomial transmission of TB in health care settings, intensified TB case finding and IPT). In this paper, we review the background of IPT. We then discuss the important challenges of IPT in PLHIV, namely responsibility and accountability for the implementation, identification of latent TB infection, exclusion of active TB and prevention of isoniazid resistance, length of treatment and duration of protective efficacy. We also highlight several research questions that currently remain unanswered. We finally offer practical suggestions about how to scale up IPT in the field, including the need to integrate IPT into a package of care for PLHIV, the setting up of operational projects with the philosophy of 'learning while doing', the development of flow charts for eligibility for IPT, the development and implementation of care prior to antiretroviral treatment, and finally issues around procurement, distribution, monitoring and evaluation. We support the implementation of IPT, but only if it is done in a safe and structured way. There is a definite risk that 'sloppy' IPT will be inefficient and, worse, could lead to the development of multidrug-resistant TB, and this must be avoided at all costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-935
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug resistance
  • Isoniazid preventive therapy
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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