World AIDS Day, December 2011

World AIDS Day this year is about "Getting to Zero. Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths". With almost one in four HIV related deaths attributable to TB globally and up to 50% in some settings, there is no question that TB prevention, diagnosis and treatment will contribute towards zero AIDS related deaths. Thanks to your efforts and commitment, we have observed encouraging progress in the scale-up of collaborative TB/HIV activities recently. The uptake of HIV testing and counselling for TB patients in the African and European regions has been particularly impressive. Similarly in 2010, almost 60% enrolled into HIV care were screened for TB in the African Region, and nearly one out of four eligible people enrolled in HIV care were put on Isoniazid preventive therapy. However, despite evidence based recommendations for providing ART to all TB patients, regardless of CD4 count within the first two weeks of their TB treatment, less than half of the TB patients who were identified with HIV received life saving ART. In the spirit World AIDS Day, we call upon all members of TB/HIV Working Group and friends of TB/HIV to ensure the delivery of integrated TB and HIV services including life saving ART to all people living with HIV.