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TB patient treated under DOTThere is a strong association between misuse of drugs or alcohol and TB. People who take drugs or and drink alcohol are more likely to socialise, often for long periods of time, in settings where TB is transmitted more readily. The impact of drugs and alcohol on the immune system then make it more likely that people exposed to TB bacteria will go on to develop the active illness.

Symptoms of TB can be masked by drink and drugs and an individual with a substance misuse problem may also find it difficult or be reluctant to access healthcare, or take their medication regularly if they do. This means they then pose an increased risk of passing infectious TB on to others and/or developing drug-resistant TB.

TB treatment can also be complicated in people with drug and alcohol issues:
  • TB medication can lead to side effects such as liver toxicity, which is particularly dangerous for people who drink too much alcohol
  • Injecting drug users are at risk of coinfection with viral hepatitis and/or HIV, which require careful monitoring and alternative drug-regimens

» TB and women
  • We need people – people like those in TB Alert, who are focused and ambitious and care for people at grass roots in the UK, India and Africa. Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership

  • We cannot win the battle against AIDS if we do not also fight TB. TB is too often a death sentence for people with AIDS. It does not have to be this way. We have known how to cure TB for more than 50 years. What we have lacked is the will and the resources to quickly diagnose people with TB and get them the treatment they need. Nelson Mandela

  • I am very impressed by the work done by TB Alert, that is why I wanted to spread the message...I am one of those that did think that TB had been eradicated...and suddenly it is back in a very big way! Baroness Joan Bakewell, explaining why she supports TB Alert

  • TB is the child of poverty – and also its parent and provider. TB Alert's Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu

  • TB Alert are passionate in their work to stamp out TB in the UK and alleviate the problems of people with TB. Alan Higgins, Director of Public Health, Oldham

  • TB Alert allowed me to regain a purpose to live. People who listened, understood and never judged. I am now proud to be part of the team which is able to offer peer support to others. Steve, TB Action Group member

  • TB Alert UK respects partnership work. Chennupati Vidya, President  of TB Alert partner, VMM