Membership will allow the Alliance to share information about activities, and exchange experiences and best practices with other partners working in TB prevention, care and control. The Alliance will also be able to engage with the Partnership’s working groups.
“There is increasing recognition that reaching Universal Access to HIV treatment, care and prevention requires addressing the issues of HIV/TB co-infection,” said Lynette Lowndes, Deputy Executive Director of the Alliance.
“Good tuberculosis control is a primary concern for people living with HIV, who are at greatly increased risk of illness and death from TB. We believe the Alliance can contribute to the Partnership’s response to TB/HIV co-infection and to its advocacy, communications and social mobilization activities.”
Established in 2000, the Stop TB Partnership is a network of 500 organisations with a secretariat housed by the World Health Organisation.
The Partnership aims to accelerate social and political action to fight TB. It helps to forge consensus on strategies, coordinate responses, promote the supply of high-quality anti-TB drugs and generate action for the development of new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines. It is actively expanding access to life-saving treatment for TB patients in the world's poorest countries.
People co-infected with HIV and TB are up to 50 times more likely to develop the active form of TB disease. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death among people with HIV, yet only 1% of people living with HIV in 2008 had undergone TB screening. The Alliance is encouraging more effective TB control and stronger linkages between HIV and TB services.
Earlier this year, a survey of Alliance partners found that 95% of respondents would want to increase HIV-TB activities in the next two years. Thirty per cent provide treatment literacy on isoniazid prevention therapy and 54% give support on stigma and discrimination.
In March, the Alliance published an “Understanding and challenging TB stigma” toolkit, developed in partnership with the ZAMBART Project. This resource was designed to help trainers plan and organise participatory educational sessions with community leaders or groups to raise awareness and promote practical action on negative attitudes to TB.