Tactics Used To Treat Multidrug-Resistant TB May Be Used To Scale Up Antiretroviral Drug Programs, WHO Official Says
The "low-tech, high-quality" model used to treat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in some developing countries could be used in scaling up antiretroviral drug programs throughout the world, according to World Health Organization HIV/AIDS Program Director Jim Yong Kim, BMJ reports. This may have been "at least part of the calculation made" when WHO Director-General Jong-Wook Lee selected Kim to be the director of WHO's department of HIV/AIDS, according to BMJ. Kim co-founded Partners in Health, which has established MDR-TB treatment programs in Peru and Siberia. The programs have trained community health workers to give patients daily injections for up to 18 months to treat MDR-TB. "It's not lifelong like AIDS, but treating someone for MDR-TB is clinically much more difficult," Kim said. Lee also named Kim head of WHO's 3 by 5 Initiative, which aims to treat three million HIV-positive people with antiretroviral drugs by 2005. Kim said that the plan includes scaling up prevention and treatment programs, as well as improvements in health systems to deliver the services (Fleck, BMJ, 7/31).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.