BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
WHILE a HIV-positive person has an annual risk of 10 percent of developing TB (tuberculosis), a HIV-negative person is at greatest risk of developing the disease after two years of initial infection.
This is according to Infectious Disease doctor Wei-Ru Lin from Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital (KMUH) in Taiwan.
Moreover, he stressed on the difference between a HIV-negative person having a 10 percent lifetime risk of developing ATBD (Active TB Disease) compared to a 10 percent annual risk for people living with HIV.
Dr Lin explained that a 10 percent lifetime risk means 1 in 10 HIV-negative people with Latent Mtb Infection (LTBI) will develop ATBD over the course of their entire life.
“So if you have a group of 100 HIV negative people with LTBI, 10 will develop ATBD at some point in their lives, meaning that 90 will never get sick with TB. Most of those who develop ATBD do so within the first two years after infection”, he said.
On the other hand, Dr Lin stated that people living with HIV have a 10 percent risk of developing ATBD each year.
He said that from a group of 100 HIV-positive people who have LTBI, 10 of them after the first year will be likely to have developed ATBD.
Dr Lin mentioned that treatment and care for HIV related TB includes HIV testing and counselling, HIV prevention methods, co-trimoxazole preventive therapy (CPT), care and support and antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Dr Lin who is also the Director of Infection Control Center at KMUH along with colleague Ching-Tzu Hung, an Infection Control nurse of KMUH had facilitated a three day Infection Prevention and Control workshop at the Taiwan Health Centre during their brief visit last month.
Participants were thirty-three health workers from the National Referral Hospital (NRH), SINU’s School of Nursing, Honiara City Council (HCC) and Guadalcanal province.