IFRC

First ever and exclusive online talk show on HIV and Tuberculosis with patients and disease experts

Published: 22 July 2012

Washington DC, on 22 July 2012- protecting the vulnerable women and children

Just hours before the official opening of the International Aids Conference on 22 July 2012 in Washington DC, the IFRC and Stop TB partnership co-hosted their first ever live streaming talk show on “HIV and TB – Protecting the vulnerable”, a show moderated by former CNN anchor Jeanne Meserve, and featuring top celebrities from South Africa and beyond, as well as TB specialists.

”What prompted IFRC and Stop TB Partnership to create such show is that Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV.  Almost one in four deaths among people with HIV is due to tuberculosis. In 2010 alone, 350,000 people died of HIV-associated tuberculosis. We need to highlight the impact of this disease so that the public is well aware of this ”, said Lasha Goguadze, the IFRC senior officer responsible for TB programmes. 

In 2010, 8.8 million people fell ill with tuberculosis and 1.4 million died from it. Over 95 percent of tuberculosis deaths occur in poor countries, and it is among the top three causes of death for women aged 15 to 44.  People get sick with tuberculosis all over the world, but the vast majority of cases are in Asia and Africa. Still many European cities are still deeply affected -- London, for instance, has one of the highest tuberculosis rates in the world. Cases of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis have been reported officially from 58 countries. Drug-resistant tuberculosis is more difficult and expensive to treat than drug-sensitive tuberculosis, with significantly higher mortality rates. And this can happen. Natalie for instance says, “I caught MDR TB overseas but it took me one year to diagnose it in the US and a year to treat it. I didn’t have the usual symptoms, so I cannot imagine how this goes for someone living in remote place”

In her own words, Gerry Elsdon, IFRC Goodwill Ambassador, “What we need to know is that TB is not just about cases and statistics but it is about people and faces. We need to engage these patients, understand who the patients are and make them actively participate in finding solutions for their plight. We cannot understand why it takes so long for integration of both HIV and TB to take place and why so many of people ill of TB does not have access to the early detection, treatment and care they direly need.”

As Lucica Ditiu , Executive Secretary of the StopTB partnership puts it, “Over the next three years, we need to ensure that investment in TB are increasing dramatically—otherwise all HIV efforts could be jeopardized because of the impact that TB has on HIV. Only like this and only together can we achieve HIV/TB zero deaths”

The show is filmed in the Newseum in Washington DC. It was co-produced by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Stop TB partnership in collaboration with the HIV/AIDS Alliance, Global Health and Diplomacy, POZ, PSI, Results, UNIC Washington, UN Foundation and UN Television with special promotional support from President Sampaio from Portugal and Archbishop Desmund Tutu from South Africa.

If you are interested in reviewing the show, click here:
http://ifrc.org/en/what-we-do/health/diseases/tuberculosis/tb-goodwill-ambassador/tuberculosis-and-hiv-protecting-the-vulnerable---talk-show/

Contact:
Sadia Kaenzig, IFRC communications, sadia.kaenzig@ifrc.org, +41 79 21 73 386 www.ifrc.org
Vittorio Cammarota, Stop TB Partnership external relations, cammarotav@who.int +41 79 50 90 646 www.stoptb.org

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