Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV are the leading infectious causes of death worldwide. 1.7 million people died of TB in 2016. For people living with HIV, TB is the most significant co-infection, 40 percent of HIV deaths in 2016 were due to TB. TB continues to disproportionately affect the most vulnerable individuals and communities. If ambitious global goals to ‘End TB’ are to be met, progress to tackle the TB/HIV co-epidemic must be accelerated.
In response to this, the TREATS -- Tuberculosis Reduction through Expanded Antiretroviral Treatment and Screening for active TB -- trial has been developed.
TREATS has been set up by a consortium of organisations that is already running the largest ever trial of a combination HIV prevention strategy. This trial, called HPTN071, or PopART, is being conducted across 21 communities in Zambia and South Africa, covering around one million people in total. PopART involves universal testing and treatment for HIV through house-to-house visits across the 21 communities on an annual basis over four years -- from 2014 to 2018. As part of PopART, all members of these communities are also screened for TB.
Building on PopART, TREATS will measure the impact of a combined TB/HIV intervention – of population level active case-finding for TB, combined with universal testing and treatment for HIV -- on TB incidence, prevalence and incidence of infection.
The aim is that its findings will help inform new policies and approaches for tackling the TB/HIV epidemic. As the global health community works towards ambitious new goals to ‘End TB’, TREATS’ findings will provide invaluable information for accelerating effective interventions on the TB/HIV co-epidemic.
The TREATS consortium is made up of:
- London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
- Imperial College London
- University of Sheffield
- KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation
- The Health Systems Trust
- International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
- Delft Imaging Systems