Missing men with tuberculosis: the need to address structural influences and implement targeted and multidimensional interventions
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Tuberculosis (TB) is treatable but is the leading infectious cause of death worldwide, with men over-represented in some key aspects of the disease burden. Mens TB epidemiological scenario occurs within a wider public health and historical context, including their prior sidelining in health discussions. Differences are however noticeable in how some Western countries and high TB and HIV burden low and middle-income countries (LMIC) including in Africa have approached the subject(s) of men and health. The former have a comparatively long history of scholarship, and lately are implementing actions targeting mens health and wellness, both increasingly addressing multilevel social and structural determinants. In contrast, in the latter men have received attention primarily for their sexual practices and role in HIV and AIDS and gender-based violence; moreover, interventions, guided by the public health approach, have stressed short-term, measurable and medical goals. Debates and the limited available empirical literature on mens engagement with TB-related healthcare are nevertheless indicating need for a shift, within TB work with men in high burden LMICs towards, structural and multicomponent interventions.
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