Objective: To quantify the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on mortality in HIV-positive people during tuberculosis (TB) treatment.Design: We conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Studies published from 1996 through February 15, 2013, were identified by searching electronic resources (Pubmed and Embase) and conference books, manual searches of references, and expert consultation. Pooled estimates for the outcome of interest were acquired using random effects metaanalysis.Subjects: The study population included individuals receiving ART before or during TB treatment. Main Outcome Measures: Main outcome measures were: (i) TB-case fatality ratio (CFR), defined as the proportion of individuals dying during TB treatment, if mortality in HIV-positive people not on ART was also reported, (ii) the relative risk of death during TB treatment by ART status.Results: Twenty-one studies were included in the systematic review. Random effects pooled meta-analysis estimated the CFR between 8% and 14% (pooled estimate 11%). Among HIV-positive TB cases, those receiving ART had a reduction in mortality during TB treatment of between 44% and 71% (RR = 0.42, 95%CI: 0.29-0.56).Conclusion: Starting ART before or during TB therapy reduces the risk of death during TB treatment by around three-fifths in clinical settings. National programmes should continue to expand coverage of ART for HIV positive in order to control the dual epidemic.
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