Tuberculosis is a bacterial disease, it is contagious and is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Although it usually affects the lungs it is possible for it to develop in other parts of the body.
- 65% of TB cases are in young adults aged between 15 and 44 years of age
- 27% of reported cases of TB in 2009 were in African people, although rates have decreased in the African community since 2002
- Economic and social factors including poor living conditions and lifestyle choices impact on vulnerability to TB
- people with lowered or damaged immune systems, including people living with HIV, are less able to fight the TB bacteria and so are more vulnerable to catching TB
The African community in Britain is disproportionately affected by TB and the AHPN believes more should be done to ensure that people within this community are aware of the risks and treatment of TB. There is still stigma surrounding tuberculosis and this should also be combated so that people do not fear being tested and receiving treatment.