MDR-TB, a challenge to Government efforts

At least a third of people in Botswana have HIV. Numbers of those dying from the disease has been going down steadily since government introduced AIDS medicines in 2003.

However a constant threat to government's efforts remains the co-existence of tuberculosis TB and HIV, as it is very difficult to treat people infected with both.

Normally a person diagnosed with HIV, but not yet sick to qualify for ARV treatment is placed on TB treatment to prevent latent TB - to help strengthen their immunity to the TB antigen. In line with World Health Organisation and Botswana government standard people found to be HIV positive are put on Isoniazid Preventive Therapy (TB treatment) for six months. Failure to complete the treatment may result in a strain of TB that is more difficult to treat, called Multi Drug Resistant TB (MDR-TB). This, according to the Ministry of health, has become the latest challenge to government's overall health initiatives. This is because MDR-TB, is resistant to isoniazid and refampicin, two drugs used in the treatment of TB.

Editor's Comment
GBV: The big elephant in the room

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