The Need For Urgent HIV and TB Treatment in Myanmar.
Tens of thousands of people living with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in Myanmar are unable to access lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART), a dire situation exacerbated by the recent cancellation of a new round of funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
“Lives in the Balance,” a new report from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), outlines the situation for people affected by HIV and tuberculosis (TB), with a special focus on multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), in Myanmar today. It calls for urgent funding and assistance to be made available by the international donor community to help Myanmar close the devastating gap between people’s need and people’s access to treatment for HIV and TB.
Infographic by Will Owen
Posts tagged tb.
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Alarming Scale of Multidrug-Resistant TB Requires Rapid Response
Alarming new data suggest that the global scope of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is much more vast than previously estimated, requiring a concerted international effort to combat this deadlier form of the disease, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders announced today.
“Wherever we look for drug resistant TB we are finding it in alarming numbers, suggesting current statistics may only be scratching the surface of the problem,” said MSF president Dr. Unni Karunakara. “And with 95 percent of TB patients worldwide lacking access to proper diagnosis, efforts to scale up detection of MDR-TB are being severely undermined by a retreat in donor funding— precisely when increased funding is needed most.”
Photo: India 2012 © Bithin Das
Some of the drugs, part of a long, difficult regimen, that MDR-TB patients must take
Myanmar: Urgent Action Needed Against HIV and TB
Between 15,000 and 20,000 people living with HIV die every year in Myanmar because of lack of access to lifesaving ART. TB prevalence in Myanmar is more than three times the global average and Myanmar is among the 27 countries with the highest MDR-TB rates in the world. Like non-resistant TB, MDR-TB is easily transmitted through the air and can infect perfectly healthy people, but requires far more complex and lengthy treatment.
MSF currently treats more than 23,000 HIV patients in Myanmar. An additional 6,000 people will be enrolled in MSF clinics in 2012. Worlwide, MSF treats more than 170,000 people living with HIV.
Photo: Myanmar 2012 © Greg Constantine A young man co-infected with HIV and TB at MSF’s clinic in Yangon.
Totally Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis - A Patient Is Missing
Maryn McKenna reports over at her Wired Science blog Superbug that Indian officials might have “lost” a patient infected with a particularly nasty strain of tuberculosis. The bacterial species that causes TB has been developing resistance to a number of antibiotics in recent years, similar to other bugs such as the NDM-1 super-terrifying “bacteria of death”.
Now TB bacteria may have developed resistance to literally everything we can throw at them. Indian doctors are denying that this strain is a sure thing, but it sounds like one of the folks who is carrying it has been missing for two weeks. Of course, they aren’t denying that there’s a dangerous TB bug on the loose, just that it’s mostly antibiotic resistant, not totally antibiotic resistant. This certainly puts a damper on India’s announcement that they are polio-free. At least TB isn’t that easy to catch.
For more on this ongoing, slightly terrifying development, check out Maryn’s detailed nterview on ScienceFriday from last week.
TIME TO PANIC!!!!
India Reports Completely Drug-Resistant TB
Over the past 48 hours, news has broken in India of the existence of at least 12 patients infected with tuberculosis that has become resistant to all the drugs used against the disease. Physicians in Mumbai are calling the strain TDR, for Totally Drug-Resistant. In other words, it is untreatable as far as they know.