New approach for TB disease screening and diagnosis in people with HIV/AIDS
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New approach for TB disease screening and diagnosis in people with HIV/AIDS

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      Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among adults living with HIV/AIDS. Late diagnosis of TB is a major contributor. Although routine screening for TB disease is recommended for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), until now, there has been no internationally accepted, evidence-based approach to screening and diagnosis among this population. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and partners in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, has identified a new evidence-based screening and diagnostic approach that can accurately identify almost all patients who have TB disease. The study included over 1700 PLWHA. To determine the actual burden of TB disease and the most accurate diagnostic methods: All patients were screened for TB symptoms; All patient sputum and extrapulmonary specimens were examined with smear microscopy and culture on solid and liquid media. Characteristics of patients diagnosed with TB disease were compared with patients who did not have TB disease. The results of this comparison were used to develop an evidence-based approach for screening and diagnosis of TB. This new screening and diagnostic approach has resulted in national, regional, and global policy changes. By using this new approach to TB disease screening and diagnosis, PLWHA can have TB disease accurately diagnosed or ruled-out more quickly, allowing appropriate treatment to start earlier. This is an important step towards helping PLWHA to live longer.
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