The Romanian Stop TB Campaign has launched a TB awareness campaign in Romania calling on Romanian decision makers to step up and to save lives. The main goals of the campaign are to raise awareness and to urge the Government and decision makers to approve and fully fund Romania’s proposed national multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) plan for 2012-15.
Last week's 19th International AIDS Conference saw over 20,000 activists, scientists, health workers, celebrities, and people living with HIV from virtually every corner of the world together in Washington D.C. It was a historic occasion for countless reasons. As I replay the events of the week in my head however, I find my mind going back to two people among the countless faces I encountered.
To bring attention to the need for increased investment in research and development for tuberculosis, ACTION, in partnership with TB Alliance and Aeras, is hosting a free, public session at the 2012 International AIDS Conference, called Saving Lives Through Research & Development: Developing Better Technologies to Address TB/HIV. Global Village’s TB-HIV Networking Zone, Exhibit Hall C, Booth #64, International AIDS Conference, Washington Conference Center, Washington, D.C.
As a swing dancer, I can definitely appreciate the 1920s; its fashion, music, and dancing are brilliant, and I’m glad they’ve stuck around. But 1920s medicine? Not so much. One of the most distressing facts in the current fight against tuberculosis (TB) is that no new vaccines have been invented since this period. The current vaccine, BCG, was developed back when Jay Gatsby was sipping champagne and only offers limited protection against the most common forms of pulmonary TB.
One year ago today, on 13 June 2011, international donors pledged to invest $4.3 billion to immunise 250 million children and save an estimated 3.9 million lives. At the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) pledging conference last year, the total pledged surpassed even GAVI’s own target of $3.7 billion. The UK Government more than doubled its contribution since the last pledging conference to £814 million over the period 2011-15.
I spend most of my day reading about TB. I go over statistics, case fatality rates, and co-infection with HIV. It’s easy to get lost in the numbers. But every so often I hear a story from someone with TB that shakes me to my core. The personal stories illustrate how devastating TB is for people and their families and remind me why I do what I do. No story is more heartbreaking than that of someone suffering from drug-resistant TB.