The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, also known as The Union, an international organisation established in 1920 to fight TB and promote lung health worldwide, today observes World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day, organised annually by World AIDS Campaign, is an occasion for people and organisations from around the world to come together and raise awareness on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Today over 33 million people live with HIV and AIDS, of whom 14 million are co-infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and 80% live in sub- Saharan Africa. While an HIV-negative person infected with M. tuberculosis runs a lifetime risk of developing active TB of 5-10%, an individual who is HIV-positive faces an annual risk of 5-15%.

This year's theme "Stop AIDS Leadership Pledge" sends a clear message asking people from around the world to pledge their leadership to help stop AIDS. Through online signatures, mail and event support, these pledges should serve as a persuasive tool for leveraging universal access to AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support and to act as an example for key national and international decision-makers to follow. The Union strongly supports this message.

To coincide with World AIDS Day, the December 2008 issue of The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD), the peer-reviewed reference for clinical research and epidemiological studies on tuberculosis, HIV and lung disease published by The Union, is highlighting the following:

-" HIV/AIDS - the long haul ahead", an editorial issued for World AIDS Day by A. D. Harries.
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- "Management of HIV-infected patients with MDR- and XDR-TB in resourcelimited settings"
Unresolved Issues, by F. Scano, M. Vitoria, W. Burman, A. D. Harries, C. F. Gilks, D. Havlir.
Click here to view article online

-" Consensus statement on the revised World Health Organization recommendations for BCG vaccination in HIV-infected infants"
Official Statement by the BCG Working Group of the Child Lung Health Section of The Union, by A. C. Hesseling, M. F. Cotton, C. Fordham von Reyn, S. M. Graham, R. P. Gie, G. D. Hussey.
Click here to view article online

Dr Nils E. Billo, Executive Director of The Union, declared "Tuberculosis is the leading cause of AIDS-related death and the two infections are inextricably linked. The spread and risk of these two conditions throughout the world call for immediate engagement from leaders to take action. Reducing the morbidity and mortality caused by these two diseases is a priority to The Union and its partners. We need to work together to build systems that accommodate the needs of TB, HIV and co-infected patients".

The Union assists countries in their efforts to improve TB-HIV care amongst patients. It provides technical assistance, tools and training materials for the management of TB-HIV and conducts operational research with its network of international experts in low- and middle-income settings. The Union also advocates for more equitable access to quality drugs and care.

To join The Union in promoting lung health, please visit our website: theunion

About The Union

The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), is the only international voluntary scientific organisation with partners in all regions providing a neutral platform to fight TB, HIV, asthma, tobacco and lung disease. The Union was established in 1920 as a federation of national associations, and today provides direct technical assistance to over 75 countries, conducts clinical trials and organises international conferences and training courses. It also publishes the peer-reviewed International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD), focusing particularly on the issues facing low-income countries. Among its international initiatives, it manages the grants programme for the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, as well as the FIDELIS Fund for Innovative DOTS Expansion through Local Initiatives to Stop TB, and many others. For further information, please visit our web site at: theunion.

International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

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