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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


TB Challenge: Partnering to Eliminate TB in African Americans

Stop TB in the African-American Community Summit Draws More Than 100

Nickolas DeLuca, PhD (CDC), Rachel Royce, PhD (RTI International), and Charles Wallace, PhD (Texas Department of State Health Services)

Photo of Dr. Benny Primm, Executive Director, Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation-Urban Resource Institute

Dr. Benny Primm, Executive Director, Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation-Urban Resource Institute and other attendees at the 2006 Stop TB in the African-American Community Summit

More than 100 individuals from myriad organizations gathered in Atlanta to participate in the "Stop TB in the African-American Community" summit, which took place May 16-17, 2006, at CDC's new Tom Harkin Global Communications Center.  The participants met to discuss the nature of this public health problem, exchange strategies, and identify ways to help address tuberculosis (TB) in the African-American community. The summit was sponsored by CDC's Division of Tuberculosis Elimination (DTBE) and RTI International. The purpose of the summit was to

  1. raise awareness about the problem of TB in the African-American community, and
  2. create links and build networks that will lead to ongoing activities and strategies to decrease TB in this community.

In 2005, CDC provisionally reported 3,927 TB cases in non-Hispanic blacks, 28% of all persons reported with TB nationally. The proportion of cases in black, non-Hispanic persons is even greater if only U.S.-born persons reported with TB are examined. In 2005, 45% of TB cases reported in U.S.-born persons were among non-Hispanic blacks. Also in 2005, the TB case rate for this population was more than eight times higher than the rate in white, non-Hispanic persons.

Photo of Dr. Louis Sullivan Photo of senior CDC staff Photo of Dr. Garth Graham

Dr. Louis Sullivan

Dr. Ken Castro & Dr. Kevin Fenton

  Dr. Garth Graham

The summit included keynote addresses from Dr. Louis Sullivan, President Emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine and former Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS); and Dr. Garth Graham, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health, Office of Minority Health, HHS.  CDC leaders also addressed the group, including Yvonne Lewis of the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities; Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (proposed); and Dr. Kenneth Castro, Director of DTBE.

Summit participants learned about state-of-the-art research and interventions addressing TB in the African-American community, and learned directly from a panel of patients about their experience having TB. The majority of the summit was devoted to participants working in small groups to strategize actions that their organizations may be able to implement to help eliminate TB in the African-American community. Participants included community and religious leaders, health care providers, public health leaders, policy and decision makers, state and local health department staff, communications professionals, academicians, and others.

Photo of a Breakout session with conference participants

Breakout session with conference participants

The results of the group work yielded a compilation of specific goals and action items that summit participants committed to trying to achieve in the next year. A summary of all of the identified action items is forthcoming. Summit participants will maintain communication throughout the next year and measure progress towards implementing the action items.

Although modern medicine can prevent and cure TB, only the concerted efforts of the community in partnership with public health and medicine will ensure that TB is eliminated from the African-American community. These partnerships, fostered by the summit, are a key component to mobilizing support for TB elimination as outlined in the 2000 Institute of Medicine's Report, Ending Neglect: The Elimination of Tuberculosis in the United States.

About the authors

Nickolas DeLuca, PhD, is chief of the Education, Training, and Behavioral Studies Team in the Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (proposed), and Rachel A. Royce, PhD, MPH, is a Senior Research Epidemiologist with RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Charles Wallace, PhD, MPH, is a TB Manager in the Infectious Disease Intervention and Control Branch, Texas Department of State Health Services. You can contact Dr. DeLuca at or 404-639-8988; or Dr. Royce at or 919-732-5974; or Dr. Wallace at charles.wallace@dshs. or 512-458-7447.


Released October 2008
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Division of Tuberculosis Elimination -

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