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Free Content Clearing the smoke around the TB-HIV syndemic: smoking as a critical issue for TB and HIV treatment and care

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The collision of the tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemics has been described as a ‘syndemic' due to the synergistic impact on the burden of both diseases. This paper explains the urgent need for practitioners and policy makers to address a third epidemic that exacerbates TB, HIV and TB-HIV. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Smoking is more prevalent among persons diagnosed with TB or HIV. Smoking is associated with tuberculous infection, TB disease and poorer anti-tuberculosis treatment outcomes. It is also associated with an increased risk of smoking-related diseases among people living with HIV, and smoking may also inhibit the effectiveness of life-saving ART. In this paper, we propose integrating into TB and HIV programmes evidence-based strategies from the ‘MPOWER' package recommended by the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Specific actions that can be readily incorporated into current practice are recommended to improve TB and HIV outcomes and care, and reduce the unnecessary burden of death and disease due to smoking.
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Keywords: HIV; public health; smoking; tobacco; tuberculosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Tobacco Control, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), Edinburgh, Scotland, UK 2: The Union, Paris, France 3: International Research and Programs Branch, Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, National Center for HIV, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Publication date: 01 September 2015

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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