The 2009 WHO Global Tuberculosis Update was launched earlier this month, providing the latest information on the state of the epidemic around the world. The report shows that in the last 15 years, 36 million people have been cured of tuberculosis, and eight million cases have been prevented. This progress attests to the effectiveness of the Stop TB Strategy and DOTS in the fight against tuberculosis.
During the latest 12-month reporting period, 2.3 million infectious patients were cured, more than ever before in that time frame. Still, not enough people are accessing the treatment they need, and about 1.8 million people died of tuberculosis in 2008.
There were an estimated 9.27 million incident cases of TB in 2007 (of which, 15% percent were among individuals who were also HIV-positive), a slight increase from 9.24 million in 2006. However, while the total number of TB cases is up due to population growth, the number of cases per capita is actually down 1%.
The report shows further progress in addressing the deadly combination of TB and HIV. TB remains the leading cause of death for those with HIV, but testing TB patients for HIV is on the rise, and more patients are receiving appropriate treatment.
The report also notes that there has been little progress in stopping multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), an even more dangerous and resistant to treatment form of TB.