All Africa, South Africa: Concern Over Impact of TB On HIV-Positive People, 26 August 2004

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks


South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang has expressed concern over treatment adherence and the impact of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) on people living with HIV/AIDS.

The minister noted that the cost to government for treating MDR-TB was just over US $3,000 a year per person, but if infected patients completed the six to nine months' treatment it would only cost between $75 and $90 per patient annually.

BuaNews, the government news agency, quoted Tshabalala-Msimang as saying, "Now if you look at antiretrovirals, it is for the rest of your life. If it is difficult for patients to adhere to [TB] treatment for six to nine months, and we are expecting patients to stick to antiretrovirals for the rest of their lives ... I think it is really something we must be concerned about as South Africans."

She urged communities to support people infected with HIV/AIDS and TB, as treatment interruptions increased the patient's chances of developing resistance.




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