Tuberculosis, COVID-19 and HIV: The Three Pandemics Nearly Colliding

September 10, 2020 10:56:58

World Tuberculosis Day was on March 24 this year. However, given the situation with the coronavirus pandemic and the influx of cases that were being recorded across the globe, attention was shifted from this important day to shed light on the severity that was and still is, COVID-19.

Nevertheless, this day which is about sharing research on tuberculosis (“TB”) and celebrating the people who help treat and manage this disease was commemorated. A few clinical researchers also got together to discuss the effect that coronavirus would have on individuals who have TB. A review of this discussion is published in the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials.

As more and more funds and resources are diverted to help in the Covid-19 crisis, more control programs will be affected negatively. One of these are the TB control programs as well as the patients. The fear of stigmatization or lockdown restrictions may bar individuals living with TB from visiting health centers.

Additionally, understaffing in TB clinics as a result of diverting resources would put TB patients at a disadvantage.

Despite this not being the first ever pandemic to affect the earth on a large scale, none has had the effect that coronavirus has, affecting almost every nation in the world. The one closest to it in scale of impact, would have to be HIV.

HIV was discovered in the 1980s and was an aggressive disease that ate away at a person, in mind, body, soul and spirit, sucking the life out of an individual, with no cure in sight. This only fanned the flames of fear globally, the disease with no cure.

Fast forward to almost 40 years later and an approximate 40 million people are living with the disease, managing it through the use of anti-retroviral drugs.

To access the drugs though, many are required to visit a health care facility. If an individual suspects themselves of having been infected with HIV, they visit a health care facility and tests are run to determine their status. In the same way, a person who suspects themselves of having been infected with COVID-19 is required to do these same.

The only difference is that now, coronavirus is the priority disease and many health care professionals and most of the world at large are forgetting that TB and people living with HIV require just as much health care as people who have been infected with coronavirus or are undergoing treatment for the same.

We can only hope now, that scientists who are working diligently find a vaccine and hopefully, a cure as well. That way, a semblance of normalcy will be restored and resources be redistributed to other diseases whose patients need attention and care. This is the same hope that biomed companies like 180 Life Sciences Corp. since the current pandemic has affected every sector o the economy.

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