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March 24 Is World TB Day

March 24 is World TB Day, an opportunity to raise awareness about tuberculosis (TB) and the need for expanded testing and treatment worldwide. The latest data from the CDC indicate that TB cases in the U.S. have reached an all-time low of 9412 cases, but the decline has slowed. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 9 million people fell ill with TB -- including 480,000 with multidrug-resistant TB -- and 1.5 million people died from the disease in 2013. An estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV were coinfected with TB in 2013, and TB is among the leading causes of death for HIV-positive people, accounting for 25% of all HIV-related deaths.

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World TB Day: Find, Treat, and Cure Tuberculosis

In recognition of World TB Day on March 24, organizations released their latest figures on tuberculosis in the U.S. and worldwide and called for more action to improve access to testing, care, and treatment, while 2 recent studies offered promise for shorter therapy.

March 24 Is World TB Day

PaMZ Combination Regimen Shortens and Simplifies Tuberculosis Treatment

CROI 2015: High-Dose Rifampin Shortens Time to Tuberculosis Clearance

3/24/15

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CROI 2015: XDR-TB in South Africa is Largely Spread Person-to-Person, Not By Treatment Failure

The vast majority of people with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) diagnosed in the world’s most extensive outbreak have acquired their infection from another person, not as the result of the failure of treatment for multidrug-resistant strains of tuberculosis (MDR-TB), N. Sarita Shah reported at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last week in Seattle.

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PaMZ Combination Regimen Shortens and Simplifies Tuberculosis Treatment

An oral regimen combining the new drug pretomanid (PA-824) with the older moxifloxacin and pyrazinamide -- known as PaMZ for short -- has the potential to reduce the duration of treatment for drug-sensitive and even some drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB), according to findings from a study published in the March 17 online edition The Lancet. Nearly twice as many patients treated with the PaMZ regimen had undetectable TB in cultured sputum compared to those taking standard therapy.

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CROI 2015: XDR TB Transmission in High-HIV-Prevalence Settings [VIDEO]

Most people with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in South Africa acquired the infection through person-to-person transmission -- including transmission in community settings as well as in hospitals -- rather than due to failure of treatment for multidrug-resistant TB, according to a report at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last week in Seattle.

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CROI 2015: High-Dose Rifampin Shortens Time to Tuberculosis Clearance

A combination regimen containing high-dose rifampin (also known as rifampicin) was associated with faster tuberculosis bacteria culture conversion in people with drug-sensitive TB, but moxifloxacin and the experimental drug SQ109 showed no benefit compared to standard therapy, according to results from a study presented at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle.

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CROI 2015: Early ART and Isoniazid Preventive Therapy Reduce Risk of Illness and Death in Africa

Starting HIV treatment at a CD4 cell count above 500 cells/mm3 reduced the risk of serious illness, including tuberculosis (TB), and death by 44% when compared to starting treatment according to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, results from the 7-year Temprano study show. The findings were presented on at the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last week in Seattle. The study also found that a 6-month course of isoniazid preventive treatment (IPT) reduced the risk of developing TB by 35%.

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CROI 2015: Screening May Miss Pre-cancerous Anal Lesions in Women with HIV

Existing algorithms to screen for anal cancer in women living with HIV could be missing many cases of anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) -- abnormal tissue changes that may be a precursor to invasive anal cancer -- according to a study reported at the recent 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle. 

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CROI 2015: International Ebola Response Too Little, Too Late [VIDEO]

An HIV clinic in hard-hit Guinea saw a 50% drop in people coming to the facility in the midst of the Ebola epidemic, and the global response has been inadequate, researchers said at the opening press conference of the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) taking place this week in Seattle. According to another report, the antiviral drug favipiravir (Avigan) appeared to help some patients with less-severe Ebola virus disease, but more effective therapies are still needed.

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