Opinion

TREATS-ing myself to more time in The Hague

By Alex Metcalfe

Following my week as part of The Union communications team in The Hague at the Union World Conference on Lung Health, I was in store for more tuberculosis work in the international city of peace and justice.

From Monday 29 to Wednesday 31 October, I represented The Union at the annual meeting of a research trial – Tuberculosis Reduction through Expanded Antiretroviral Treatment and Screening for active TB (TREATS). The Union is the communications lead for the trial.

TREATS was set up by a consortium of organisations that is already running the largest ever trial of a combination HIV prevention strategy – called HPTN071 (catchy), also known as PopART.

There were representatives from across the partnership, including people from Zambia, South Africa and even Sheffield.

From what I understood, TREATS is measuring the impact of a combined TB/HIV intervention on the occurrence of TB and prevalence and incidence of infection in Zambia and South Africa. Piece of cake. The hope is that its findings will help inform new policies and approaches to tackling the TB/HIV epidemic.

I highlighted the importance of communications at a local, national and international level and was able to capture some brilliant story ideas from the meeting. I’m looking forward to helping to tell these stories over the coming months.

For more information please email Alex.