10 June 2011 - New York City - "How can we accept that tuberculosis (TB), a curable disease is killing people who are living with HIV?" This bold question from Dr Jorge Sampaio, the UN Special Envoy to Stop TB, set the tone for a lively panel discussion on integration at the 2011 High Level Meeting on AIDS at UN Headquarters.
Introducing his speech as "from the heart", Dr Sampaio emphasized that he found it amazing that TB had been so little discussed at high level meetings on AIDS, given that one in four HIV deaths are precipitated by TB.
Dr Sampaio called for political leadership and concrete action to save a million lives [.PDF] by treating and preventing TB among people living with HIV.
"From now to 2015 a million lives can be spared if we simply integrate, if we simply coordinate," he said. "Why not test people with HIV for TB and test people with TB for HIV? If we do these things I think we will achieve this important result."
The panel was chaired by Mr Gervais Rufykiri, Second Vice President of Burundi and included Ms Françoise Barre Sinoussi, Director of the Pasteur Institute and Nobel Prize Winner; Ms Aditi Sharma from the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (India) and Ragnhild Mathisen, State Secretary, Ministry of Health, Norway. Laurie Garrett of the Council on Foreign Relations served as moderator.