Impact of integrated tuberculosis/human immunodeficiency virus (TB/HIV) services in Africa
Hlongwane, L. J.
Bodigelo, O. M.
Dichate, M. B.
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The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic presents a significant challenge to global tuberculosis (TB) control. Worldwide, TB is the most opportunistic infection affecting HIV positive individuals, and it remains the most common cause of death in patients with AIDS. To address the dual burden of TB/HIV, World Health Organization (WHO) developed guidelines promoting the collaboration of the two programmes to achieve holistic patient care. However, in most African countries this policy is often not implemented at the level of patient care contributing to delayed diagnosis and linkage to care. In Africa, the control of TB/HIV a co-infection remains a major challenge despite the availability of international guidelines of TB/HIV services. Hence this study seeks to systematically review the impact of TB/HIV collaborative services in Africa. In order to identify relevant studies, electronic database: Pubmed, Embase, CIHNAL and Sabinet were searched from 2005 to end of august 2013. The general search structure for electronic databases was (impact of or synonyms) AND (collaborat* or integrat*) AND (TB/HIV or TB-HIV or TB and HIV) AND (services) AND (Africa). Further studies were identified by citations in retrieved papers and by consultation with experts. The level of integration seems to vary according to country and facility. It was evident that the impact of TB/HIV integration is somewhat difficult to rigorously measure; hence rigorous evaluative studies are needed to measure the impact of TB/HIV integration. This is due to different models of integration employed in different facilities and countries in Africa.