About HIV and Tuberculosis
WHAT WE DO
CRS has supported international HIV programs for more than 25 years, almost since the beginning of the pandemic. Our HIV programs address all areas of programming, including home-based care, antiretroviral therapy, treatment support, stigma reduction, prevention, and holistic services for vulnerable children. Globally, 37 projects in 22 countries include a focus on HIV, supporting more than 7 million people living with or affected by HIV.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a preventable and curable disease that kills 1.5 million people each year. It is highly contagious, and early detection and treatment is critical to prevent spread of the disease. CRS programs focus on training community volunteers to screen for and treat TB, particularly where people often don’t have access to health services such as in remote, rural areas or in prisons. Outreach teams target vulnerable groups such as prisoners, miners, and migrants.
Because people living with HIV have weakened immune systems, they are highly susceptible to TB. Treating HIV and TB simultaneously is possible, but a principal challenge in fighting co-infection lies in the integration of services that have traditionally treated one illness or the other. Linking prevention, diagnosis and treatment programs brings benefits for patients, health care providers and health systems. CRS has been at the forefront of international TB and HIV programming.
HOW WE DO IT
An AIDS-Free Generation: CRS HIV programs place special emphasis on eliminating new infections in babies and children. We work to prevent HIV infection among women of reproductive age, while promoting counseling, testing and prevention of mother-to-child transmission. We promote option B+, the provision of lifelong antiretroviral therapy to all pregnant and breastfeeding women living with HIV. CRS also provides HIV care, treatment and support for women and children living with HIV and their families.
Testing, diagnosis and treatment: CRS works with local partners, including faith-based and government run health facilities and community-based organizations to diagnose and treat both TB and HIV, prioritizing children and pregnant women. We help local governments to roll out and scale up integrated community-based services. Providing support to communities is key to increasing case finding, adherence, reducing loss to follow up and improving viral load suppression.
Integration: Collaborative TB/HIV interventions are essential to ensure that HIV-positive TB clients are identified and treated appropriately and that all TB patients are screened for HIV and linked with life-saving care and treatment. We also work with people living with HIV to ensure TB is prevented, diagnosed and treated. CRS places a distinct focus on integration of TB and HIV interventions in order to reduce associated morbidity and mortality.
Maximizing impact: CRS teams are active in operationalizing national recommendations, promoting adoption of global recommendations at the country level and evaluating outcomes of HIV, TB as well as TB/HIV integration activities.
Research & Publications
The Faithful House: PMTCT Supplement
<i>The Faithful House PMTCT Supplement</i> builds upon the information presented in The Faithful House program. Information for facilitators and counselors supporting pregnant women who are HIV positive are included in this supplement. More
AIDSRelief Final Report
Providing Treatment, Restoring Hope
This final report on AIDSRelief outlines key outcomes and lessons learned, and describes approaches and methods that contributed to the initiative's success. Reports are also available for each of the individual AIDSRelief country programs. More