Wednesday, February 10, 2010
New research shows Latinos make up the vast majority of new cases of co-infection of tuberculosis and HIV. The situation has changed over the last 20 years.
SAN DIEGO New research shows Latinos make up the vast majority of new cases of co-infection of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV. The situation has changed over the last 20 years.
Researchers say incidences of HIV and TB co-infection used to be confined primarily to white and black San Diegans. Today, Latinos account for more than 80 percent of all cases.
UCSD researcher Tim Rodwell says co-infected patients are likely to be male Hispanic injection-drug users.
"This is a hard group to find, and it's a hard group to hang on to once you find them," said Rodwell. "And so that both those things make it more difficult to treat them for tuberculosis, and HIV, which makes it more likely that those are going to be the people carrying that disease."
Dr. Rodwell says the vast majority of local TB cases are in people born outside the U.S. He says it's unclear where they're becoming infected with HIV or TB.