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HIV Contributes to a Quarter of TB Deaths: WHO

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One in four tuberculosis deaths worldwide is HIV-related, a rate twice as high as previously believed, says the World Health Organization.

There were an estimated 1.37 million new cases of TB among HIV-infected people and 456,000 deaths worldwide in 2007. Despite the fact that TB kills more people with HIV than any other disease, only 1 percent of people with HIV had a TB screen in 2008, BBC News reported.

HIV has caused a tripling of TB incidence in Sub-Saharan Africa since the 1990s. In some countries, 80 percent of TB patients are also infected with HIV, the WHO said.

"These findings point to an urgent need to find, prevent and treat TB in people living with HIV and to test for HIV in all patients with TB. Countries can only do that through stronger collaborative programs and stronger health systems that address both diseases," said Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, BBC News reported.

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