Countries with High TB-HIV Co-infection Rates Will Be Required to Submit Joint Proposals for Treatment
In future, countries with high rates of TB and HIV co-infection that are applying for funding for treatment programmes will be required to submit a joint TB and HIV application. The latest issue of the Global Fund’s New Flash says that this will lead to better streamlining of programmes for countries heavily burdened by the three diseases.
A spokesperson for the Global Fund Secretariat told GFO that to determine which countries have “high” rates of co-infection, the Fund will rely primarily on a list of high-burden countries produced by the World Health Organization. The final determination will be made in March 2014 when the Global Fund announces the allocations for the full roll-out of the new finding model. The spokesperson added that in the coming weeks, the Secretariat will be communicating directly with many countries known to have high rates of co-infection.
“This is a huge leap forward,” said Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, in the News Flash article. “We have known for some time that if we can scale up collaborative activities, TB needn’t be a death sentence for millions of people living with HIV. This decision takes us from knowledge to action.”
By integrating HIV and TB from the beginning, we will ultimately make it easier for people to not only access HIV and TB testing but also life-saving treatment,” said Luiz Loures, Deputy Executive Director of Programmes at UNAIDS.
The News Flash said that the Global Fund and its technical partners will work with countries to help them develop joint applications.
This article was modified on 31 October to add information about how the Global Fund will determine which countries have “high” rates of TB and HIV co-infection.