TB Cases Among HIV-Positive People in Jamaica Increasing
The number of tuberculosis cases among HIV-positive people in Jamaica is steadily increasing, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health released on Wednesday during a symposium at the country's National Chest Hospital, the Jamaica Gleaner reports. Terry Baker, a consultant pulmonologist at the National Chest Hospital, said that six out of every 10 people living with HIV in Jamaica do not know that they have the virus, meaning that there likely are "many more" people with TB who are not included in health ministry data. HIV-positive people are at an increased risk of TB, so it is "important for them to get tested," he said. The health ministry statistics indicate that most cases of HIV/TB coinfection occur in St. James parish. Baker said this could be the result of the high number of commercial sex workers in the Montego Bay area.
Although the total number of TB cases in Jamaica seems to have remained steady, the Pan American Health Organization estimates that there are more cases than the recoded number, Mikael Tulloch-Reid, a senior medical officer at the National Chest Hospital, said at the symposium (Jamaica Gleaner, 3/27).