Chenai Mathabire, a Zimbabwean nurse who works for the Zimbabwe branch of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) won the HIV/TB Research Prize at this year’s International Aids Society Conference on HIV Science (IAS). Mathabire’s research which was carried out in Malawi and Mocambique showed that a TB LAM test could be used to diagnose TB in severely ill HIV patients.
In Malawi, some HIV patients with suspected TB were waiting months for laboratory or X-ray results to come back. Clinicians don’t like to start patients on treatment based only on clinical signs and symptoms, they prefer to have a diagnostic test result,” Mathabire said.
The TB LAM test helped them make that decision, and they felt better about starting HIV patients on TB treatment. It doesn’t replace existing tests, but adding this test helps us identify more TB cases and can improve the patients’ chances of survival.
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