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Wednesday 12 July 2006
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SOUTH AFRICA: MRC raises TB/HIV co infection concerns

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 7 July (PLUSNEWS) - A study by South Africa's Medical Research Council (MRC) shows that multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) is easily transmitted from infected individuals to others, especially HIV-positive people.

MRC researchers found that after channelling air from the rooms of drug-resistant TB patients into a separate guinea pig enclosure, more than 80 percent of the animals became infected with the resistant TB strain, proving it was highly infectious.

Karin Weyer, director of the MRC's unit for TB operations and policy research, said the findings also raised concern over HIV-positive people who came into close contact with TB patients.

"HIV-positive patients and TB patients spend hours together in waiting rooms at hospitals and clinics, and the likelihood of transmission from the TB patient to those with HIV is great, given that people with HIV have a compromised immune system," she told the local Cape Times newspaper.

Weyer cited an incident at the Sizwe hospital in Gauteng province, where a woman with multidrug-resistant TB had infected six HIV-positive people.



Recent SOUTH AFRICA Reports
Contrasting HIV-positive lives,  30/Jun/06
New strategies needed to meet shortfalls says Global Fund report,  29/Jun/06
New AIDS threat looms,  19/Jun/06
Govt wants to monitor PEPFAR funding,  12/Jun/06
HIV-positive Muslims take comfort in their faith,  26/May/06
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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