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Mar 24, 2014. By

March 24 marks World Tuberculosis Day, a day to raise awareness of this terrible disease and to push for global progress in treating TB and helping prevent its spread.

Thanks to the work of the United Nations and other partners, the world is making important strides: Between 1990 and 2012, the TB mortality rate declined by 45%. But TB is still very much a threat in the U.S. (there were nearly 10,000 reported cases in 2012) and around the world, and we have more work to do.

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Here are five reasons to care about the fight against TB:

1. No country has ever eliminated TB. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 8.6 million people fell ill because of TB in 2012.

2. TB is the leading killer among people with HIV. About one in four HIV-related deaths are due to TB.

3. Women feel the greatest impact of the disease. TB is the number three cause of death among women of childbearing age. More than half a million women die of TB each year.

4. TB is a treatable disease. In 2001, the Stop TB Partnership (a public-private partnership of nearly 1,000 partners including WHO) has worked tirelessly to expand access to treatment and move us closer to a world without TB.

5. There is a lot of work to be done, but we’ve made progress and can make more. Since 1995, about 56 million TB patients have been successfully treated, saving up to 22 million lives around the world. The world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal to reverse the spread of TB by 2015.

Join the fight against tuberculosis by supporting the Stop TB Partnership. You can also follow @StopTB to learn more.

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