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EUCO-Net


European Network for global cooperation in the field of HIV & TB
 
 
Framework programme:
 7
Contract/Grant agreement number:
223373
EC contribution:
827,000   €
Duration:
18 months
Funding scheme:
Coordination Action
Starting date:
01/11/2008
Project Web site:
http://www.euco-net.eu
 
 

Keywords: AIDS, TB, HIV/MTB co-infection, international cooperation

Background

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and tuberculosis (TB) are two major communicable diseases that cause severe public health problems worldwide. The two diseases are caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) respectively. The diseases represent a global public health problem individually, but combined are even more threatening due to mutual interaction. TB is the leading cause of mortality for people living with HIV/AIDS, and HIV is the most potent force driving the TB epidemic in countries with a high prevalence of AIDS. Consequently, co-infection of HIV with MTB is a deadly combination with significantly accelerated disease progression and mortality. In rural areas of India, Russia, Latin America and South Africa both diseases are affecting large populations.

Despite an increasing awareness worldwide, greater commitment and increased funding and coordinated research initiatives need to be further strengthened to address the challenge of HIV/MTB co-infection. AIDS and TB programmes worldwide still work largely in isolation from each other and are focused on national levels, although the urgent need to combat these two diseases and their detrimental combination is recognised internationally. Additionally, since HIV and MTB represent pathogens studied in different scientific disciplines, namely virology and bacteriology, scientists primarily work with colleagues from the same research field instead of collaborating with scientists in complementary fields.

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