Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Combo Therapy May Prevent TB, Save Lives in People With HIV

(HealthDay News) -- Simpler and shorter treatment with antibiotic drugs could help prevent full-blown tuberculosis in millions of people worldwide infected with the bacterium that causes TB, especially those also infected with HIV, researchers report.

TB, or tuberculosis, is the leading cause of death among people co-infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. About half a million people with both infections die worldwide every year.

The new study by an international team of scientists included 1,148 South African men and women infected with the TB bacterium and HIV, who were followed for up to six years to see whose TB infections stayed dormant.

It found that the most streamlined combination treatment -- a high dose of 900 milligrams each of the newer antibiotic rifapentine (Priftin) and the traditional anti-TB antibiotic isoniazid once weekly for three months -- worked as well or better than the current gold standard of care of 300 mg of isoniazid taken daily for six months or longer. Read more...

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