Image: Doctors Without Borders
Tuberculosis (TB) preys on the most vulnerable children, the orphaned and the malnourished. TB is also a death sentence for those children living with HIV. A child living with HIV is twice as likely to die from TB than a child solely infected with TB.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates 490,000 children get sick with TB each year, and up to 64,000 die as a result.
Children living with HIV already have weak immune systems, leaving them at even greater risk of TB. Despite this risk, TB prevention, treatment, and diagnostic services have not to date been routinely included with other child health services.
December 1 is World AIDS Day. Let’s mark it by calling on the Australian Government to take immediate steps to addressing the devastating effects of TB and HIV on children.