n South African Medical Journal - High uptake of HIV testing for tuberculosis patients in anintegrated primary health care HIV / TB programme in rural KwaZulu-Natal : issues in medicine : SAMJ forum

Volume 100, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the HIV-infected African population. The need for improved integration of HIV and TB services was highlighted by the World Health Organization (WHO) several years ago, but implementation of recommendations has been slow. HIV testing for TB patients is the gateway for combined HIV and TB treatment, care and prevention yet, in 2007, only 37% of TB patients in the WHO African region were tested for HIV. While some countries reported testing rates above 75%, a testing rate of only 39% was reported in South Africa, the country with the largest burden of HIV/TB co-infection. We describe our efforts to ensure high HIV testing rates in TB patients via an integrated programme at primary health care level in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

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