Isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) for tuberculosis greatly reduces the risk that people with HIV will develop TB or die of the disease, which is the leading cause of death among the HIV population in developing nations with the greatest rates of HIV. A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Brazil studied 12,816 people with HIV in that South American country, all of whom were eligible for screening for TB infection or active TB disease, but had no symptoms of the disease and could begin taking the antibiotic isoniazid daily for six months. About 1,186 of these participants tested positive for TB infection at the study's baseline, but they had no symptoms and were thus eligible for IPT therapy.

During the four-year study, there were 838 deaths and 475 people developed TB. The investigators found that IPT lowered TB deaths and new cases of active TB disease by 31 percent; alone, new cases of TB dropped by 13 percent.

Restricting their analysis to the 12,196 participants who made it to at least one annual checkup appointment, the investigators found that IPT lowered the death rate and number of new TB cases by 55 percent. The number of active TB cases fell by 58 percent.

To read a release about the study, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.