Clearing the smoke around the TB-HIV syndemic: smoking as a critical issue for TB and HIV treatment and care

by A. Jackson-Morris, P. I. Fujiwara, E. Pevzner
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 19(9):1003–1006 (September 2015)

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The collision of the tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemics has been described as a ‘syndemic’ due to the synergistic impact on the burden of both diseases. This paper explains the urgent need for practitioners and policy makers to address a third epidemic that exacerbates TB, HIV and TB-HIV. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. The authors propose integrating into TB and HIV programmes evidence-based strategies from the ‘MPOWER’ package recommended by the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Specific actions that can be readily incorporated into current practice are recommended to improve TB and HIV outcomes and care, and reduce the unnecessary burden of death and disease due to smoking.

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