To address the burden of TB-HIV, the national AIDS and Tuberculosis programmes in the Ministry of Health & Sports are responding jointly to TB and HIV diseases, with the support of partners. Myanmar has made impressive progress in addressing both diseases. At the same time, despite progress, Myanmar is still considered ‘high burden’ for TB and HIV and has a high rate of TB-HIV co-infections.
According to the Global TB Report 2018, approximately 5,000 of 32,000 TB deaths in Myanmar (during 2017) were infected with TB and HIV. Consequently, collaboration between the national AIDS and TB programmes at all levels is key.
We need to increase case detection of TB in HIV-infected persons -- and of HIV in TB patients. This will help improve patient care and help optimize use of resources. For example, preventive therapy with isoniazid is encouraged for all eligible HIV positive patients. Furthermore, TB drug susceptibility testing should be done in appropriate cases. Importantly, good infection control must be practised at all times.
More information on TB-HIV coinfection – including how to prevent and treat it -- is available at https://bit.ly/2RCnOsx and the Global TB report 2018 is available at https://www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/en/