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Identifying priorities for HIV-associated tuberculosis research through the WHO guidelines process

Ford, Nathana; Maher, Dermotb; Rangaka, Molebogeng Xheedhac; Baddeley, Annabelc; Singh, Satvindera; Getahun, Haileyesusc

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: November 2018 - Volume 13 - Issue 6 - p 538–542
doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000499
TUBERCULOSIS AND HIV: Edited by Richard E. Chaisson and Haileyesus Getahun

Purpose of review Guidelines developed by the WHO aim to provide recommendations to support best practice in health delivery, with a focus on low-income and middle-income countries. As part of the guideline development process, critical knowledge gaps are identified and one of the core functions of WHO guidelines is to set forth priorities for future research. A review of research priorities identified through the WHO guideline development has recently been promoted as one approach to building an overarching priority research agenda in a given area. This paper outlines priorities for HIV-associated TB research identified in WHO HIV and TB guidelines published since 2015.

Recent findings Nine guidelines were reviewed and 29 priority research questions were identified. Research priorities were identified for prevention of HIV-associated TB (11 questions), screening of latent and active TB in people living with HIV (six questions), treatment of drug sensitive (four questions), and drug-resistant (two questions) TB, and treatment of HIV in people coinfected with TB (three questions).

Summary Multiple approaches to defining priority research questions for health research exist. Research priorities that arise from the WHO guideline development process are limited to those areas for which guidelines are developed. One strength of this approach is that it takes as a starting point a desire to make actionable recommendations for policy makers. WHO is working to further refine the formulation of research questions within the guideline development process.

aDepartment of HIV

bSpecial Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases

cGlobal TB Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Correspondence to Haileyesus Getahun, Global TB Programme, World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland. Tel: +41 22 791 19 49; fax: +41 22 791 21 11; e-mail:

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