TB incidence rates are highest among people living with HIV born in a country with high prevalence of both of these infections, including those diagnosed late as well as those who are not on treatment.
The British HIV Association (BHIVA) supports testing for patients with HIV and a low CD4 count or if they come from a sub-Saharan African country, where co-infections are more common. TB incidence rates are highest among people living with HIV born in a country with high prevalence of both of these infections, including those diagnosed late as well as those who are not on treatment.
We work to support with anyone who has, or suspects they may have, TB (tuberculosis). NAZ also raises awareness and knowledge of TB among people at high risk of infection, promoting early detection and treatment of people with active or latent TB.
While we will support you wherever you are living in London, our awareness-raising and outreach work is within the boroughs of Enfield and Haringey. These boroughs have a diverse population at risk from TB and it is important for us to raise awareness of TB among these groups.
We especially work with people from countries that have a high rates of TB, for example African, Caribbean and South Asian communities; and with people whose housing circumstances put them at high risk, such as people who are homeless or in prison.
TB affects socially disadvantaged communities in the UK. Non UK-born black and minority ethnic communities are disproportionately affected and account for over 70% of all cases in the UK. TB rates in the UK have been rising since the late 1980s, while at the same time they have been falling in most other developed and developing countries. There are around 9000 new cases each year and almost 40% of them are in London.
What support do we provide?
• Casework and support around TB test and treatment
• Support around housing and benefits where these are affecting your health
• Much of our work in Enfield and Haringey is increasing awareness and knowledge of TB and combating stigma among individuals at most risk, health professionals and those who work with hard to reach groups
For further information or support, please contact Munira Elmi on 020 8834 0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DON’T LET TB SLOW YOU DOWN!
What is Tuberculosis (TB)?
TB is a curable illness caused by airborne bacteria which commonly affect the lungs. TB in the lungs is known as pulmonary TB and it is the only form of the illness that can be infectious. 50% of all TB cases in London are in fact pulmonary TB; although any part of the body can be affected by TB.
TB can be the cause serious health problems – particularly if it is not caught early. However it is curable; testing and treatment is free and confidential, regardless of immigration status.
In some people the TB bacteria can remain asleep in the body for years. This is known as latent TB. Latent TB can therefore ‘wake-up’ and cause you to develop TB symptoms if your immune system comes under pressure.
How do you get TB?
When someone with infectious TB coughs or sneezes they send droplets into the air that contain TB bacteria.
If you are exposed to these bacteria for a long time you may become ill with TB. You are more likely to catch TB if a relative, someone you live with, or a colleague, has infectious TB.
TB spreads more easily in crowded or poorly ventilated homes.
Who is likely to get TB?
Anyone can get TB, but there are some groups that are more at risk than others, including people who:
Were born in, or have links to Sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent or parts of eastern Europe
Are homeless or live in poorly ventilated or overcrowded accommodation
Are dependent on drugs or alcohol
Have a weakened immune system, through HIV or other illness
If I think I may have TB what action should I take?
If you are worried you might have TB or that you have been exposed to TB bacteria, talk to a doctor as soon as possible.
The sooner you are treated, the less likely you are to become seriously ill or pass TB on to others.
If you do have TB, antibiotic treatment will be prescribed for you and a TB nurse will be assigned to you to provide support. Your TB nurse will ask you to make a list of people you spend most time with. It is very important that these people are also checked for TB, to ensure they do not become seriously ill and to prevent them from spreading the infection further.
REMEMBER TB IS CURABLE AND EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO FREE TREATMENT.
– Nearly 50% of London’s TB cases are non-pulmonary; cases where TB is found in parts of the body other than the lungs. If you have unexplained pain anywhere in the body for longer than three weeks you could have non-pulmonary TB.