Acting against kala azar-HIV co-infection in Bihar

©Matthew Smeal/MSF

What We Do

After treating more than 13,000 patients since 2007 in Bihar’s Vaishali district, MSF began focusing on the treatment of kala azar-HIV co-infection in partnership with the Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS) in Patna in 2016. The evidence base regarding best treatment practices for coinfected patients worldwide is limited, due to a lack of studies.

  • Bihar

Kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis) is a neglected tropical disease that is almost always fatal if left untreated. It spreads through the bite of a sandfly, and disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable communities. People living with HIV are over 100 to 2,320 times more likely to develop kala azar in areas of endemicity, and patients co-infected with HIV and kala azar are at a greater risk of death.

In 2018

We continued to treat kala azar–HIV co-infection in collaboration with the Rajendra Memorial Research Institute in Patna, Bihar. In 2018, we explored better treatment modalities for co-infected patients and started assessing their efficacy. We also started to research the prevalence of asymptomatic kala azar in HIV patients. 

In partnership with the state authorities, we have agreed to create an integrated centre for holistic care and treatment of patients with advanced HIV, to offer them a better quality of life and reduce the stigma they face.

kala azar-HIV co-infected patients admitted
kala azar-HIV co-infected patients treated
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