Philippine Health Department Issues Administrative Order To Address HIV/TB Coinfection
Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque recently signed an administrative order aimed at increasing efforts to combat HIV/tuberculosis coinfection, Asia Pulse/Individual.com reports.
The order focuses on policies and guidelines for a collaborative approach aimed at decreasing the TB burden among HIV-positive people and decreasing HIV prevalence among people with TB. According to the Philippine Department of Health, HIV/TB coinfection has hindered efforts to control the two diseases because TB is common among people living with HIV and one of the primary causes of AIDS-related deaths. In addition, TB significantly affects the quality of life of HIV-positive people, the department said.
According to Asia Pulse/Individual.com, the Philippines has a high burden of TB but a low HIV prevalence. The health department in 2007 estimated that HIV prevalence was 0.168%, with 7,490 Filipino adults living with the virus. However, a study found that 6.25% of 160 TB patients at San Lazaro Hospital tested positive for HIV (Asia Pulse/Individual.com, 9/1).