60 pct of TB cases are co-infected with HIV in Botswana: minister

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-02 03:10:56|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GABORONE, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- More than 60 percent of Tuberculosis (TB) cases in Botswana are co-infected with HIV, the virus that causes the endemic AIDS, according to Botswana's assistant health and wellness minister.

Biggie Butale, the assistant minister of Ministry of Health and Wellness, made the revelation on Saturday when delivering a message during the commemoration of the 2018 World AIDS Day at Mochudi village, in the outskirts of Gaborone, Botswana's capital city.

This year's commemoration was held under the theme: Know your status and know your viral load.

"In Botswana, Tuberculosis (TB) is largely driven by HIV infection as more than 60 percent of incident TB cases are co-infected with HIV," said Butale.

According to Butale, TB continues to cause many deaths, especially among people living with the HIV, as it accounts for nine percent of all adult deaths and 40 percent deaths in this group.

It is hence important that strategies employed to control HIV include management and prevention of tuberculosis, he said.

Butale said the national treatment success rate has remained constant at 78 percent over the past few years.

Available information indicated that Botswana recently joined the Global Coalition on HIV Prevention spearheaded by UNAIDS, whose main thrust hinges on key principles of primary prevention, promotion of healthy lifestyles and integration of services to attain universal health.

As part of these commitments, Butale said Botswana continues to adhere to global monitoring and reporting standards of disease trends.

"We are presently conducting a major population-level survey called the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey, which we have this time around combined with Tuberculosis for many scientific and logistical reasons," he said.

For her part, United Nations (UN) resident coordinator Jacinta Barrins told the 2018 World AIDS Day commemoration that TB is the leading cause of death of people living with HIV, accounting for one in three AIDS related deaths.

"People living with HIV and TB are unaware of their co-infection and therefore not receiving care," she said.