Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a dangerous form of TB that is resistant to the two most powerful anti-TB drugs. Ineffective treatment of MDR-TB gives rise to extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB). Resistant to a number of critical first and second-line anti-TB drugs, XDR-TB is extremely difficult and costly to treat and is highly fatal.
TB is the leading killer of people with HIV/AIDS. One in four deaths among people with HIV is due to TB. Unlike HIV/AIDS, TB is completely curable in the vast majority of cases, with medicines that cost as little as $20, as long as treatment regimens are monitored and completed in order to avoid building up of drug resistance.
TB disproportionately affects the poor. Nearly 9 million people develop active TB disease each year - and an overwhelming 95% of these cases occur in developing countries. Low-income populations often lack access to health-care facilities and treatment and prevention options, which delays the diagnosis of TB by several weeks or months. Poor nutrition and co-infection with other diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, can lead to the development of active TB. Crowded living conditions, poor ventilation, and lack of access to clean water and sanitation all contribute to an increased susceptibility to TB.
Tuberculosis (TB), an airborne infectious disease, is the third leading cause of death for women worldwide. In 2009, there were 3.3 million cases of TB among women and 320,000 women died from TB in 2010. Despite TB's immense and unique impact on women, little attention is paid to the disease as a women's health issue. The global health community, policymakers, and women's advocates should recognize TB as a critical burden for women around the world, and work together to eliminate it as a major cause of sickness, death, and social marginalization.