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U.S. Tuberculosis Rates Highest in Foreign-Born

Also, pilot study successfully incorporates HIV testing into routine tuberculosis care in Zambia

MONDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of tuberculosis in the United States is highest among foreign-born persons and racial/ethnic minorities, and a new model in which HIV counseling and testing is offered as part of routine care of TB patients can help identify HIV-infected individuals in sub-Saharan Africa, according to two articles published March 21 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

R. Pratt, of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues summarize trends in tuberculosis in the United States in 2007, reporting that though the TB rate has decreased in recent years, the rate of decline is slowing. Furthermore, foreign-born individuals and racial/ethnic minorities continue to have disproportionately high rates of disease.

A. Mwinga, M.D., of the CDC Global AIDS Program Zambia, and colleagues summarize the results of a pilot study conducted by the Zambian Ministry of Health of provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC) of TB patients in TB clinics. Of the 2,072 patients with TB who were tested for HIV, 72 percent tested positive for HIV. In addition, the PITC model was well-accepted and could be feasibly incorporated into the routine care of TB patients.

"The high percentage of TB patients who tested positive for HIV underscores the need to implement PITC in TB clinical settings in sub-Saharan African countries with high prevalence of both diseases," comments an associated editorial.

Full Text -- Pratt
Full Text -- Mwinga

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