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South Africa tries treating TB patients at home

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[March 24, 2009]  CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- South Africa is trying a new approach to controlling drug-resistant tuberculosis by treating people at home rather than in isolation hospitals.

South Africa has an alarmingly high number of people with TB because of its AIDS epidemic. People with HIV are more likely to contract tuberculosis because of their weakened immune systems.

Existing policy is to forcibly confine patients with drug-resistant TB for around two years.

But health authorities in Cape Town said Monday that this is unrealistic because of the sheer numbers of patients. They have joined with Medecins Sans Frontieres on a pilot project to care for people at home.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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