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Towards zero: with Dr. Watiti

By Vision Reporter

Added 11th July 2012 02:22 PM

I was recently given some drugs for prevention of TB to take daily, but I have not taken them because I do not have TB. I had TB three years ago before I started taking ARVs and it was treated.

I was recently given some drugs for prevention of TB to take daily, but I have not taken them because I do not have TB. I had TB three years ago before I started taking ARVs and it was treated.


Do I really have to take the TB drugs?

Dear Doctor,
I was recently given some drugs for prevention of TB to take daily, but I have not taken them because I do not have TB. I had TB three years ago before I started taking ARVs and it was treated. Do I really have to take these drugs considering I am on ARVs, septrin and other drugs for high blood pressure and diabetes?

Jessica

A: Dear Jessica,

It is understandable when you hesitate to accept more tablets, considering the number of drugs: ARVs, Septrin, plus anti-hypertensive and anti-diabetic drugs you are on. All drugs must be used rationally.

In caring for people living with HIV, tuberculosis (TB) must be looked for proactively and all those found to have it must undergo full treatment. Sometimes PLHIV who are not found with active TB, are put on what is known as Isoniazid Preventive Therapy (IPT).

Isoniazid is one of the drugs used in treating TB, but it can also be given for prophylaxis purposes. In this case it is used much the same way Septrin is used to prevent opportunistic infections.

Septrin does not prevent TB. It is, however, important that you discuss the matter with your doctor so that you do not get drugs you are not comfortable taking. It may be that your doctor does not know you are on so many other drugs; in which case IPT could be withheld.

I’m not comfortable involving my family

Towards zero: with Dr. Watiti

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