Despite efforts in the fight against tuberculosis, the number of afflicted patients in Vietnam is still increasing. It is found out that the increase in the number of full-blown HIV patients is attributed to the inefficiency of the ongoing fight against tuberculosis.
HIV virus destroys resistance capacity of the body, said Dinh Ngoc Sy, director of Central Tuberculosis and Lung Hospital, that makes people with the Koch germ more vulnerable to contracting tuberculosis. With those who contracted both HIV and tuberculosis virus, it is 30 times easier for them to develop full blown tuberculosis than those who catch tuberculosis virus only.
The increasing incidence of HIV makes the tuberculosis number increase by 30% in the world. In Vietnam, the increase in proportion of HIV patients among tuberculosis patient is alarming. For the time being, the proportion stands at 4.3%. In a group often cities and provinces, the proportion goes up to more than 5% and it is 8-14% in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Binh Duong and HCM City. HIV virus increases threat of fatality and reduces recovery expectation of tuberculosis patients. A survey in HCM City indicates that a half of tuberculosis patients with HIV getting over tuberculosis while almost 90% of those who without HIV virus can survive from tuberculosis.
The increase in the number of HIV patients destroys efficiency of the ongoing effort against tuberculosis. Despite the fact that the method of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Philippines is considered the most efficient method for tuberculosis nowâ€”is equipped with health centres at every corner of the country, the number of tuberculosis patients sees year-by-year increase, said Sy.
In Vietnam, there are about 145,000 people discovered every year with tuberculosis which claims lives of 21,000 patients. Besides HIV, the resistance against medication is amongst reasons neutralising effort against tuberculosis.
A third of the tuberculosis patients were found with resistance against medication while about 3% resisting against almost medicines. It takes at least six-months for a patient to undertake treatment of tuberculosis, said Sy, but the patients incline to give up treatment after a short time of treatment with easing up. Hence, it is difficult to resume treatment when the disease resurges.
Treatment costs of the patients resisting against medication will hundred times higher than other patientsâ€™. The failure to follow treatment regime will make the patients become chronic tuberculosis patients and so far there has no treatment method for such disease.
Experts are worrying about the widespread of tuberculosis in rehabilitation centres for addicts and sex workers. The proportion of tuberculosis patients in these centres is much higher than in the community and so is the number of patients resisting against medication. It is considered that these centres are bombs of tuberculosis which can explode anytime if the management and treatment is not stringent enough.