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BANGKOK, Thailand -- At the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $44.7 million grant to support the Consortium to Respond Effectively to the AIDS-TB Epidemic (CREATE), which will conduct research on urgently needed strategies to control TB in communities with high HIV infection rates.
Nelson Mandela, the former president of South Africa, spoke at the conference in support of the worldwide fight against AIDS and TB.
CREATE is led by Richard Chaisson, MD, professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins, and includes researchers and health policy experts in Africa, South America, Europe, and the U.S.
TB and HIV form a lethal combination, each amplifying the others progress, said Chaisson. By studying the impact of promising new strategies, we hope to inform critical health policy decisions in countries confronting TB and HIV.
Because HIV weakens the immune system, people with HIV are especially vulnerable to TB, and TB rates have increased significantly in countries with high HIV prevalence. In sub-Saharan Africa, two-thirds of TB patients are co-infected with HIV, and of the estimated 1.6 million deaths caused by TB annually, one quarter occur among people living with HIV/AIDS. TB is now the leading killer of people with HIV worldwide.
Source: Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions