Latent TB Treatment
When a person with active TB who is not on TB treatment coughs, sneezes or breathes, the TB bacteria is spread in the air. The bacteria can stay in the air for a few hours, depending on the ventilation in the room. An uninfected person can inhale the TB bacteria and get infected with TB. This person may not present with TB symptoms (coughing, fever, night sweats, unexplained weight loss), as the bacteria can exist in a ‘sleeping mode’ in the body. This is called latent TB. A person with latent TB cannot infect others, however, latent TB can progress to active TB in about one in ten people.
What TPT is available?
- INH: also known as Isoniazid Preventive Therapy where isoniazid taken daily for six, nine, 12 or up to 36 months.
- 3HP: three months of isoniazid and rifapentine are taken together once a week. The use of 3HP has not yet been studied in children younger than 2 years and is not yet recommended.
- 1 HP: one month of isoniazid and rifapentine taken together once a day.
- 3 HR: three months of isoniazid and rifampicin taken together once a day.
- 4R: four months of daily rifampicin.
We believe that TB Preventive Therapy should be a key component of TB prevention in TB affected communities. For more information on latent TB infection, please consult the WHO Latent TB Infection: Updated and consolidated guidelines for programmatic management. Another useful link: An activist’s guide to Rifapentine for the treatment of TB infection.
- Advocate for the release and implementation of new National TPT guidelines. Identify gaps or areas for improvement in the guidelines, which may include the scope of coverage of people at risk and/or the type of TPT regimens available.
- TB Proof has provided key inputs for the draft TB Preventive Therapy Guidelines in South Africa as well as input for the WHO Latent TB guidelines.
- TB Proof members serve on the ‘TB Prevention Task Team’. This platform provides excellent up to date information about TPT in South Africa through emails, conference calls and in-person meetings.
- TB Proof engaged in numerous advocacy opportunities including the Post TB symposium (www.post-tuberculosis.com).
- An advocacy letter, ‘Need for timely release of revised guidelines for TB Preventive Therapy in South Africa’ was shared with Dr Yogan Pillay, Deputy Director-General at the National Department of Health, asking for a timely release of the guidelines. This letter was supported by seven organisations and 30 individuals.
- Develop and pilot TPT awareness campaign materials. Click here to view our TB Preventive Therapy short films.