TB Competes with HIV as Most Deadly Disease

Tuberculosis cases have risen to epidemic levels, competing with HIV as the most deadly global disease.


The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Global Tuberculosis Report for 2015, with the findings that tuberculosis is now ranked evenly with HIV as the world’s most infectious disease. The report says that between 1.1 million and 1.2 million deaths were caused by both diseases in 2014.


The tuberculosis director for WHO, Dr. Mario Raviglione, said “Tuberculosis and HIV are now competing to be the number one cause of death from infectious disease in the world. “Tuberculosis now ranks alongside HIV.”


The report stated that the figures were “unacceptable for a disease that could be cured”.


According to the report, “huge strides have been made in tackling TB, with the death rate being nearly halved since 1990.” And the statistics showed the number of infections have fallen by 1.5% a year since 2000.


The death rates from HIV/Aids have also fallen, due to access to anti-retroviral drugs to the afflicted.


The report showed that new cases of TB are being reported more frequently in Pakistan, India, China, Indonesia and Nigeria.


The director-general of WHO, Margaret Chan said there had been “tremendous impact” since 1990, but added that “if the world is to end this epidemic, it needs to scale up services and, critically, invest in research”.


Dr Raviglione agreed, saying that if the international investment in TB matched that of HIV, then “we could have accelerated the decline in mortality”.


The report also highlights the problem of drug-resistant tuberculosis, as the over prescribing of antibiotics has given rise to “superbugs”.


The World Health Organization has plans next year for a campaign with a strategy to cut TB deaths by 90% by 2030.


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Release ID: 96016