Global Laser Talk February 2011

TB Control and Diagnostics

Someone dies of TB every 20 seconds. Annually, that’s about 35 stadiums full of people. However, drugs to cure a standard case of TB cost only about $20.

But there is a new, game-changing diagnostic that is fast, accurate, and easy to use. It’s called “Xpert.” It dramatically improves our ability to diagnose TB in people with HIV/AIDS, and it can accurately detect dangerous drug-resistant strains of TB. It uses DNA technology, but it requires minimal training to use.

With this tool available, now is not the time to retreat in the fight against global TB.

Members of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee will soon be making foreign aid spending decisions for fiscal year 2012. I would like you to speak to the leadership of this subcommittee and ask them to make two key appropriations: $1.75 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and for $650 million in bilateral funding towards TB control and treatment.

Would you be willing to speak for robust funding toward the fight against tuberculosis? I would be happy to provide any additional information you might need to make this request.