Medical Blogs

March 4, 2007

TB Becoming Difficult To Treat In Vietnam Because Of TB/HIV Coinfection, Health Official Says

Tuberculosis is becoming more difficult to treat in Vietnam because 10% of people living with the disease also are HIV-positive, according to statistics from the National TB Control Program, the Vietnam News reports. "The HIV/AIDS epidemic is one of the main reasons why we still have so many TB patients, regardless of the large number of new TB cases that are discovered and treated every year," NTCP Director Dinh Ngoc Si said recently at a workshop in the city of Ha Noi. According to Si, 21,000 people in Vietnam are living with TB/HIV coinfection. In addition, the number of people living with TB/HIV coinfection is increasing in large cities -- including An Giang, Ha Noi, Hai Phong, HCM City and Quang Ninh -- according to the Vietnam News. An increasing number of people with TB also are developing drug resistance, which could affect the country's treatment success rate, which is currently recorded at 90%, the Vietnam News reports. Vietnam has the 13th highest global TB burden, with roughly 221,000 people living with the disease, according to the NTCP. About 145,000 new TB cases are detected annually, and 70% of people with the disease are between ages 15 and 55, according to the Vietnam News (Vietnam News, 1/29).

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