According to senior study investigator and Johns Hopkins infectious disease specialists Richard Chaisson, MD, his team's latest study results firmly support broad use of preventive isoniazid therapy for millions of people infected with HIV in Latin American, Asian, and Eastern European countries heavily burdened by TB.
says TB disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide among those with HIV/AIDS and is epidemic in developing countries with the highest HIV-infection rates.
"Our study results show that routine testing for TB and preventive isoniazid therapy works well at the community level in people with HIV disease in curbing the spread of TB and lowering the number who die," says Chaisson, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and founding director of its Center for Tuberculosis Research.
"People with HIV disease living in all countries with rampant TB should be asking their physicians if they are good candidates for preventive isoniazid therapy," says Chaisson
, who leads the overall global research effort, in support of this study and others, called the Consortium to Respond Effectively to the AIDS/TB Epidemic.
CREATE, as it is known, is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
says the team next plans to evaluate faster diagnostic tests for TB, other than the initial skin test, which takes only minutes to administer, but requires a 48-hour waiting period to show any reaction.
says the ideal test would be a blood test that could be performed at the same time as routine anti-HIV tests for blood levels of CD4 immune cells.