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Over 8,500 TB patients in Maharashtra living with HIV

In areas under the Pune Municipal Corporation, officials have registered a total of 1,105 new TB patients from January to April this year. Of these, 1,010 were tested for HIV and 43 were found to be positive with the virus.

TB patients living with HIV, Maharashtra news, Health news TB patients in Maharashtra are living with HIV. (AP File Photo/Anupam Nath)

For tuberculosis patients, an HIV co-infection can make treatment a challenging process. At least 7-8 per cent of TB patients also have an HIV infection. While annually, Maharashtra notifies 1.25 lakh TB cases — around 7 per cent, or over 8,500 TB patients, also have HIV co-infection.

In areas under the Pune Municipal Corporation, officials have registered a total of 1,105 new TB patients from January to April this year. Of these, 1,010 were tested for HIV and 43 were found to be positive with the virus. While the HIV-TB co-infection rate in the state has come down from 13 per cent in 2014, to 11 per cent in 2015, to approximately 7-9 per cent now, health officials said they were focussing on stepping up awareness and counselling on the issue.

The state has 1,646 special TB testing facilities. State health officials said that as per national guidelines, TB patients are being tested for HIV. Dr Manisha Naik, PMC’s TB control unit officer, said that from among 120 multi drug-resistant TB patients, 14 were found to be HIV-positive. Among 17 extremely drug-resistant TB patients, two were HIV positive.

Dr Balasaheb Hodgar, in-charge of the Pimpri-Chinchwad TB control unit, said there have been 205 cases of HIV-TB co-infection since December 2016 till date, of which 23 patients have died. Dr Sanjeev Kamble, director of health, Maharashtra, said that private doctors also need to follow guidelines and ensure that TB cases are tested for HIV.

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Survey to identify TB patients in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad

To identify those suffering from tuberculosis, an active TB case finding survey is going on at the slum areas of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. The survey started on May 28 and will conclude on June 9. Dr Manisha Naik, PMC’s TB control unit officer, said the target population was 2.26 lakh across slums in the city. “We have found 160 suspected TB patients so far and four have been diagnosed positive for the disease. The final report will be ready by the weekend,” she said.

In Pimpri-Chinchwad, the survey had found 45 suspected TB patients, but none of them was found to be suffering from the disease. Dr Balasaheb Hodgar said the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations’s TB control unit had done a survey of high risk persons, with a target of reaching out to 2.40 lakh persons last year. “We were able to detect seven persons with TB,” he said.

First published on: 08-06-2018 at 08:15:33 am
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