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High uptake of HIV testing for tuberculosis patients in an integrated primary health care HIV/TB programme in rural KwaZulu-Natal

Claudia Wallrauch, Tom Heller, Richard Lessells, Mmabatho Kekana, Till Barnighausen, Marie-Louise Newell

Abstract


Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the HIV-infected African population. The need for improved integration of HIV and TB services was highlighted by the World Health Organization (WHO) several years ago, but implementation of recommendations has been slow. HIV testing for TB patients is the gateway for combined HIV and TB treatment, care and prevention yet, in 2007, only 37% of TB patients in the WHO African region were tested for HIV. While some countries reported testing rates above 75%, a testing rate of only 39% was reported in South Africa, the country with the largest burden of HIV/TB co-infection. We describe our efforts to ensure high HIV testing rates in TB patients via an integrated programme at primary health care level in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

Authors' affiliations

Claudia Wallrauch, Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Tom Heller, Hlabisa Hospital

Richard Lessells, Africa Centre for Health & Population Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Mmabatho Kekana, Hlabisa Hospital

Till Barnighausen, Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Marie-Louise Newell, Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal

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Keywords

Tuberculosis; HIV testing; Integration

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2010;100(3):146-147.

Article History

Date submitted: 2009-11-13
Date published: 2010-02-03

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