More than 300 HIV/AIDS medical practitioners from numerous project sites in China coordinated efforts for World TB Day 2017. The theme for this year’s commemoration was “Stop TB & HIV Co-infection.”
To bring attention to TB and HIV co-infected patients, AHF China drafted press releases for distribution across practitioners’ and project sites’ WeChat (China’s top social network) accounts. TB-awareness content was also distributed via the WeChat account of the country’s top MSM (men who have sex with men) social dating app.
“TB is currently the number one killer globally for HIV/AIDS patients,” said AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Asia Deputy Bureau Chief Dr. Yugang Bao. “China is one of 27 high-burden countries in the world where multidrug-resistant TB is present.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention over one-third of the world’s population is infected with tuberculosis (TB), which killed 1.8 million people in 2015. In addition, the World Health Organization estimates that people living with HIV are between 26 and 31 times more likely to contract the disease. Unfortunately, TB is not always detected through standard HIV treatment services.
In addition to awareness-raising digital content, AHF also coordinated four educational events at four different locations and created a “Stop TB & HIV Co-Infection” promotional video at the Linfen Red Ribbon School – a boarding school for students living with and/or orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
World TB Day was successful in distributing TB information and bringing awareness, but efforts must continue in order to reduce mortality rates in China.
“With over 120,000 new cases of multidrug-resistant TB every year, only diligent screening, diagnosis, follow-up and treatment can reduce deaths caused by TB/HIV co-infection,” said Dr. Bao.