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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

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.

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: September 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution. Individuals and institutes can subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] for details.

    The IJTLD is dedicated to understanding lung disease and to the dissemination of knowledge leading to better lung health. To allow us to share scientific research as rapidly as possible, the IJTLD is fast-tracking the publication of certain articles as preprints prior to their publication. Read fast-track articles.

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