Photograph by Matthieu Zellweger
Women sit in the waiting room of the Meiktila General Hospital in Mandalay, Myanmar, waiting to learn whether they have HIV or TB – or both.
HIV and TB co-infection is a serious problem in Myanmar and around the world, with TB accounting for one in three AIDS-related deaths. Worse still, many HIV-positive people who ultimately die from TB don't know they have the disease until it's too late. HIV clinics often don't test people for TB, and even when they do, existing tests aren't sensitive enough to diagnose TB in many patients.
New, accurate and easy-to-administer diagnostic tests are urgently needed in order to end the global TB epidemic. Yet, innovations alone won't be enough. HIV and TB services must be delivered side by side, so that people living with both diseases can get the integrated, quality care they need.