The burden of TB-HIV in the EU: how much do we know? A survey of surveillance practices and results

ME Kruijshaar, L Pimpin, I Abubakar, B Rice, V Delpech, LN Drumright, V Hollo, E Huitric, M van de Laar, A Amato-Gauci, D Manissero, C Kodmon

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Abstract

Information on the burden of tuberculosis (TB)-HIV co-infection is critical for the planning and evaluation of TB-HIV control and treatment strategies. This study assessed current practices in countries of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) for monitoring HIV co-infection in TB surveillance systems, countries' current co-infection burden and associated clinical practice. An online survey was distributed to all national TB surveillance nominated European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control contact points in the EU/EEA. We received 25 responses from 30 countries (83% response rate). Patients' HIV status was collected in 18 out of the 25 TB surveillance systems, usually via clinician reporting (16 out of 18 surveillance systems). Although most countries recommended routine testing of TB patients for HIV, the proportion actually tested varied from 5% to 90%. The burden of HIV co-infection was found to be elevated in countries with higher levels of HIV testing and higher prevalence of HIV. We suggest that TB-HIV co-infection be monitored in all EU/EEA countries to facilitate the planning and evaluation of TB-HIV control strategies. Strengthening collaboration between TB and HIV clinicians and surveillance departments, and consideration of patient confidentiality restraints would be advantageous. The level of HIV testing in TB patients is low despite national recommendations and testing should be further promoted and monitored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1374-1381
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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