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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


TB Challenge: Partnering to Eliminate TB
in African Americans

Winter 2004

Addressing TB Among African Americans in the Southeast

Nick DeLuca, MA, Jane Mezoff, DrPH, CHES, Rachel Royce, Ph.D., MPH

Tuberculosis (TB) disproportionately affects African Americans, particularly in the southeastern states. This long-standing health disparity has come under increased scrutiny by the Institute of Medicine, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis (ACET). In May 2003, ACET and CDC convened a 2-day summit in Atlanta, Georgia, inviting key opinion leaders from African-American communities throughout the United States. The summit focused on the historically high case rates of TB among African Americans in the southeastern states, and sought to engage participants in addressing this disparity. Participants at the summit called for increased research and resources to improve TB prevention and control efforts in these populations.

One response has been a CDC Division of TB Elimination (DTBE) formative research and intervention study entitled “Addressing Tuberculosis Among African Americans in the Southeast.”

This project is directed by the Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch (CEBSB) of DTBE. The research will be conducted through a task order of the TB Epidemiological Studies Consortium (TBESC). In September 2003, the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) site of the TBESC was selected to carry out this study in collaboration with CEBSB. RTI and CDC have established a multidisciplinary team to assist them in guiding this activity. This protocol development team represents a partnership with southeastern states (GA, TN, MS, NC, SC, AL, AK), as well as with academic partners at the University of South Carolina Institute for Families in Society; the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health; and the Charles P. Felton National TB Center at Harlem Hospital.

The project objectives are to:

  • Determine the barriers to health seeking behavior and treatment adherence for African Americans with or at risk for TB

  • Determine barriers to TB guideline adherence among providers who serve these populations

  • Develop and test interventions to overcome identified barriers

  • Improve partnerships and collaboration among TB programs and providers/organizations serving these populations

As of February 2004, the protocol development team was formed. A literature review is currently in progress, instrument development is underway, and data collection is scheduled to begin in spring 2004.


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

Please send comments/suggestions/requests to:, or to
CDC/Division of Tuberculosis Elimination
Communications, Education, and Behavioral Studies Branch
1600 Clifton Rd., NE - Mailstop E-10, Atlanta, GA 30333