LETTER- TB research a critical need

I'm writing in response to John Hong's column about tuberculosis ["TB or not TB? Tests determine who's a carrier," June 28].  

Without an increased response from our elected officials, TB is a problem that will only get worse. TB is already a quickly growing threat to global public health; one-third of the world is infected with the disease, and 1.6 million people die of it annually. TB is also the number-one killer of people with AIDS. 

But it is within our power and ability to control this grave health threat. TB treatment and research are grossly under-funded, and a critical piece of legislation in both the House and Senate, called the "Stop TB Now Act of 2007," will help remedy this problem (H.R. 1567 and S. 968). 

If passed, this Act would authorize up to $400 million in 2008 and $550 in 2009 to enhance and provide basic treatment as well as funding for research to combat extensively drug-resistant TB. I urge readers to please take a stand by writing to their Congressmen and women to ask them to co-sponsor this bill.

Lisa Pelegrin
[email protected]