Stopping the real killer of AIDS patients

You probably already know that AIDS doesn’t technically kill a person; rather, it cripples a person’s immune system so much that other deadly diseases or infections easily grab hold. In reality, worldwide, tuberculosis (TB) is the leading killer of persons infected with HIV (source).

Here in the U.S., we very rarely hear about TB — American kids never have been routinely vaccinated against it. But it is on the rise in the States due to its partner in crime — HIV — says the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

TB is highly contagious and incredibly dangerous for people living with HIV.

Unlike HIV, TB can be transmitted through a simple cough or even someone’s speech, and a person who has HIV is 20-30 times more likely than an uninfected person to develop TB disease (source).

The test for TB requires a blood sample or injection under the skin —
obviously requiring a proper medical clinic — but in many HIV-endemic places, medical care is not available. 

In Northern Kenya, medical clinics are sparse and too expensive for many people to access. The FH-supported Tumaini Medical Center, however, is a great exception and is helping hundreds of HIV-positive people live longer, happier lives.

In just eight months, earlier this year, staff at the Tumaini Medical Center screened 188 HIV-positive individuals for TB. Of them, 17 were found to have TB, and 14 of those began treatment that could very well be saving their lives right now. 

In addition to drug therapy, the Center provides counseling for patients and their families as well as education about how to stop HIV from spreading.

To be part of this truly life-saving work, please consider joining our Poverty 180 HIV/AIDS cause for only $9 a month!

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