For more than 20 years, public health advocates and clinical practitioners have been meeting in the Southwest to talk about what’s new in TB and HIV. Earlier this month, Arizona’s public health and clinical representatives joined our federal and four-corner-state counterparts in Durango, Colorado. At this 21st conference, presentations ran the gamut from TB case studies, to infectious disease presentations, to reflections from Indian Health Services physicians on the social determinants of health in the Four Corners region.
There were a couple take home messages from this year: 3-HP, a newer, quicker way of treating latent TB infection has been shown to have excellent adherence rates. The collaborative approach to treating TB, HIV and Hepatitis C in certain areas of the Southwest is impressive. And, unfortunately, TB is becoming harder to treat because of drug resistance.
Our TB Control Program returned from this meeting with new ideas, both TB-related and crossing over in to other areas, like viral hepatitis. This conference may be decades old, but ADHS is always on the search for new ideas to improve the health of Arizonans; some even came while stuck in sleet.