Monday, 30 March 2015

All patients with TB should be tested for HIV as a routine

All patients with TB should be tested for HIV as a routine

IMA recommends HIV screening for all TB patients after the patient is notified unless the patient declines (opt-out screening) said Padma Shri Awardee Dr A Marthanda Pillai National President and Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal Honorary Secretary General IMA. This includes persons with TB disease and persons with latent TB infection.  Routine HIV testing is also recommended for persons suspected of having TB disease, persons diagnosed with latent TB infection, and contacts to TB patients.  Prevention counseling and separate written consent for HIV testing should no longer be required.

A resolution was passed by IMA during their annual national review meeting on TB held in the city here today. Additional DDG, Central TB Division, Ministry of health, Dr Niraj Kulsherestha and Dr K S Sachdeva, present on the occasion as guest of honors, said this is as per Govt of India guidelines.

Following was the main points of the discussion

1.       HIV infection is the most important known risk factor for progression from latent TB infection to TB disease.

2.       Progression to TB disease is often rapid among people infected with HIV and can be deadly.

3.        TB outbreaks can rapidly expand in patient groups infected with HIV.

4.        Targeted HIV testing based on provider assessment of patient risk behaviors fails to identify a substantial number of people who are infected with HIV.

5.        Many individuals may not perceive themselves to be at risk for HIV or do not disclose their risks.
6.        Routine HIV testing reduces the stigma associated with testing.

7.        When HIV is diagnosed early, appropriately timed interventions can lead to improved health outcomes, including slower progression and reduced mortality.

8.       Identifying TB patients, suspects, and contacts infected with HIV allows for optimal TB testing of these groups and provides opportunities to prevent TB in those without disease.

9.       Both TB and HIV treatments are available free from the government under one window.

10.      HIV testing can be done using the rapid card tests.

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