World TB Day 2017: Focus on TB/HIV co-infection

24 March 2017

The WHO European Region will mark World Tuberculosis Day 2017 with a focus on people living with tuberculosis (TB) and HIV co-infection, a group that is often stigmatized and marginalized. This theme supports global advocacy efforts to “End TB” and to leave no one behind, per the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, by addressing stigma, discrimination, marginalization and by overcoming barriers to accessing care.

New data released by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) show that new TB cases and deaths have continued to decline in the 53 countries of the WHO European Region, by 4.3% and 8.5% respectively between 2011 and 2015.

However, vulnerable groups for TB infection, such as people living with HIV, do not benefit from this overall trend. In 2011-2015, new TB/HIV co-infections increased by 40%. Testing all TB patients for HIV, and vice versa, and providing rapid treatment could reverse this negative trend.

World TB Day is celebrated on 24 March each year around the world. The overall goal of the day is to raise awareness about the global burden of TB and to highlight the status of TB prevention and control efforts.