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Burden of HIV/TB infections increasingly falling on Hispanic community
Date:2/10/2010

The results of an innovative study to understand what factors may influence who contracts tuberculosis (TB)/HIV co-infection in San Diego show a significant shift in the ethnic makeup of the disease, with the majority of cases now coming from the Hispanic community.

The results of this paper, "HIV and Tuberculosis Co-infection Among Hispanics in Southern California: An Increasing Health Disparity," will appear in the February edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

"While the overall numbers are modest, our study shows that what used to be mostly a disease of white and black patients in San Diego is now largely a disease of Hispanics," said Timothy Rodwell MD, PhD, MPH, associate physician/fellow in the Division of Global Public Health at UC San Diego. "This indicates that the benefits of prevention and treatment of TB and HIV over the last decade have been uneven in the different ethnic/racial groups in this region."

HIV is a potent risk factor for TB disease. It increases the risk of latent TB infection reactivation, the rate of disease progression and the risk of new infections. TB also accelerates HIV disease progression, increasing infectivity and reducing HIV treatment efficacy.

"The synergy of TB and HIV has created a worldwide public health crisis and has significantly complicated attempts to eliminate TB in both the industrialized and developing worlds," noted Rodwell.

Rodwell's team analyzed San Diego County TB surveillance data from 1993 through 2007, grouping cases by HIV status: positive, negative or unknown. Of the 5,172 TB cases analyzed, 8.8 percent were also infected with HIV. The number of new co-infected cases did not change significantly during this period, but the proportion of cases among Hispanics did increase significantly, while the proportion of cases among non-Hispanic white and black patients decreased.

Hispanics now account for more than 80 percent of al
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Contact: Kim Edwards
kedwards@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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