Symposium Examines Management of Latent Tuberculosis/HIV Co-Infection

Nov. 10, 2006

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA — A group of organizations, donors, national and international tuberculosis (TB)/HIV experts will meet on 13-14 November, 2006, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to propose recommendations for the management of latent TB (LTBI) in people co-infected with HIV. The conference is co-sponsored by Ethiopia’s Federal Ministry of Health, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health’s International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a U.S. government program.

TB is a major public health problem throughout the world and the leading cause of death in people living with HIV/AIDS. Nearly one-third of the world’s population is infected with the bacteria that cause TB. In Ethiopia, 61% of the population is estimated to be exposed to TB, while 1.32 million individuals are living with HIV/AIDS.

Because individuals living with HIV/AIDS are at a substantially higher risk of contracting and dying from TB, public health programs are increasingly focused on addressing the problem of TB/HIV co-infection. The LTBI symposium will focus on:

  • Reviewing the latest guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of LTBI in adults & children;  
  • Sharing data and programmatic experiences in the diagnosis and treatment of LTBI in people living with HIV/AIDS in resource-limited settings;
  • Surveying data on the epidemiology of TB and TB/HIV co-infection in Ethiopia, as well as results of pilot programs on IPT and studies of TB screening.
  • Developing recommended approaches to the management of LTBI in patients with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia, including recommendations about policy and guidelines.

Conference participants will include TB and HIV/AIDS experts from the Ethiopia Federal Ministry of Health, Regional Health Bureaus, Local and International Universities, non-governmental and governmental organizations, and the World Health Organization. His Excellency, Dr. Kebede Worku, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Health, is scheduled to deliver the conference’s opening remarks.