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Volume 456: debated on Monday 29 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure that efforts to address HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis are co-ordinated. (111208)

DFID supports country-led national AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) control programmes in a number of high HIV prevalence countries. DFID also made significant contributions to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria which supports country programmes for AIDS and TB. The UK has committed £359 million to the Fund for 2002-07, including £100 million for 2006 and the same for 2007, subject to performance. We have also made a long-term commitment to UNITAID, the new international drug purchase facility, scaling up to £40 million per year by 2010, subject to performance. These initiatives provide countries with access to increasing resources for scaling up HIV and TB interventions.

Most countries with HIV and TB co-epidemics already have national plans to address these epidemics in increasingly co-ordinated programmatic ways and many have also finalised universal access plans to dramatically scale up these responses. Scaling up access to antiretroviral therapy offers opportunities to better control TB and has been shown to decrease the incidence of TB by 70-80 per cent. in people already infected with HIV.

DFID is contributing to strengthening national health systems to scale up the delivery of basic services to the poor that include TB and HIV prevention and treatment. An example of this is the Malawi Emergency Human Resources Programme that is making more health workers available to deal with increasing numbers of patients who are infected with both HIV and TB.

DFID is also funding research working to identify better ways to deliver services tackling the co-epidemics. We are also supporting the work of WHO, for example the STOP TB programme, which is supporting countries to develop co-ordinated HIV and TB responses.