The Pred-rt study is coordinated by Dr Graeme Meintjes (University of Cape Town, South Africa) and conducted in an HIV-TB clinic in Khayelitsha, a community of 500,000 people on the outskirts of Cape Town with very high rates of TB and HIV.
The PredART study aims to develop a treatment intervention to address the TB-IRIS complication in HIV-TB co-infected patients. When patients have both HIV and TB infections, treatments need to be combined. One of the most common complications in those patients is TB IRIS. As the successful start of HIV-treatment with antiretrovirals leads to a rapid reconstitution of the immune system, a strong inflammatory response to the tuberculosis and other infections may result. This can be life threatening or at the very least undermine patients confidence in their treatment. Currently there is no preventative strategy for TB IRIS, therefore the PredART study aims to test an intervention with prednisone, which – if successful – might influence international guidelines for the treatment of HIV-TB co-infection.