Tuberculosis (TB) is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in children living with HIV (CLHIV), particularly in TB endemic settings. TB in CLHIV is a
preventable and treatable disease. WHO recommends a cascade of TB services for all CLHIV that begins with routine screening for TB symptoms and/or recent contact with an infectious TB case. It would end with either; 1) diagnosis of active TB disease and prompt initiation of TB treatment, or 2) exclusion of active TB disease and prompt initiation of TB preventive therapy (TPT). Prompt, appropriate treatment for active TB disease is effective in CLHIV.
Similarly, TPT (such as isoniazid preventive therapy) is effective in preventing TB disease and reducing mortality in CLHIV. Effectiveness of both TPT and TB treatment is maximized when CLHIV receive early antiretroviral therapy (ART) to manage HIV infection. However, implementation of these evidence-based interventions to treat and prevent TB in CLHIV remains poor.
This is part of a series of 12 policy briefs by the Child Survival Working Group on scaling up key interventions for children and adolescents living with HIV. Learn more.