Barriers in providing tuberculosis services for people living with HIV and their overcoming


Aim. To study the opinions of specialists in tuberculosis institutions on barriers and ways to improve the system fighting the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis.

Methods. In the study questionnaires with open and closed questions were used among employees of tuberculosis facilities in four territories of the North-West Region of Russia (Saint-Petersburg, Leningrad, Arkhangelsk, and Kaliningrad oblasts) during six months in 2018. Total of 284 subjects were included. The questionnaire consisted of 19 structured questions. The respondents’ answers were compared interregionally and were analyzed integrally inside the blocks with the calculation of their ratios.

Results. According to the specialists’ opinion working in tuberculosis facilities, the main barriers to providing tuberculosis services for people living with HIV are low level of intersectoral interaction, migration, increase in the number of injecting drug users, lack of regional government support, inconsistency of regulation documents with the requirements of currant reality. As the main conditions for improvement of epidemic situation with association of HIV/tuberculosis, the respondents consider increasing administration of antiretroviral therapy to the patients with HIV, adequate treatment of tuberculosis in HIV-infection and raising awareness of HIV-infection and tuberculosis by the population.

Conclusion. To improve the existing system of fighting HIV/tuberculosis, strengthening the connection among the stakeholders may be possible, especially between tuberculosis facilities and detention centers giving the valuable access to antiretroviral therapy, chemoprophylaxis and tuberculosis treatment, including establishment of low-threshold centers, improved population awareness of tuberculosis and HIV-infection.

Z M Zagdyn

Saint-Petersburg Research Institute of Phthisiopulmonology

Author for correspondence.
Saint-Petersburg, Russia

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