For the first time, tuberculosis infections rivaled HIV/AIDS as a leading cause of death from infectious diseases, the World Health Organization said in a report released on Wednesday.
It found that during 2014, 1.1 million people died of TB in 2014. During the same period, HIV/AIDS killed 1.2 million people globally, including 400,000 who were infected with both HIV and TB.
Dr. Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO TB program, said the report reflects the dramatic gains in access to HIV/AIDS treatment in the past decade, which has helped many people survive their infections. But it also reflects disparities in funding for the two global killers.
"The good news is that TB intervention has saved some 43 million lives since 2000," but given that most cases of TB can be successfully treated, the death rate remained "unacceptably high," Raviglione said in a telephone interview.
The report features data from 205 countries and territories on all aspects of TB, including drug-resistant forms, research and development and financing.
It found that 6 million new cases of TB were reported to the WHO in 2014, fewer than two-thirds of the 9.6 million people worldwide estimated to have fallen sick with TB last year.
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