Treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis among people living with HIV

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review aims to describe the key principles in treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in people living with HIV, including early access to timely diagnostics, linkage into care, TB treatment strategies including the use of new and repurposed drugs, co-management of HIV disease, and treatment complications and programmatic support to optimize treatment outcomes. These are necessary strategies to decrease the likelihood of poor treatment outcomes including lower treatment completion rates and higher mortality.

Recent findings

Diagnosis of drug-resistant TB is the gateway into care; yet understanding the utility and the limitations of genotypic methods in this population is necessary. The principles of TB treatment in HIV-infected individuals are similar to those without HIV co-infection, with few exceptions. However, adverse effects with potential significant morbidity may emerge during treatment, and timely antiretroviral therapy is essential to improve mortality in this patient population. Emerging data on the use of new and repurposed drugs and short course multidrug-resistant TB regimens and adherence strategies benefiting this population are reviewed.

Summary

The clinical complexity of co-managing drug-resistant TB and HIV, and the higher rate of poor treatment outcomes in this population demand careful clinical management strategies, and multidisciplinary and comprehensive programmatic interventions to optimize treatment success in this vulnerable group.

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