The Tuberculosis Behavioral and Social Science Research Forum Proceedings
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Section II. Presentations and Panel Discussions
Welcome Address: Opening Remarks
Harold Jaffe, M.D.
Director, National Center for HIV, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Day 1, Morning Session
Dr. Jaffe’s opening remarks highlighted behavioral and social science research contributions to understanding the behavior of patients and providers in several health fields and their relevance to TB control and prevention. Early social science research has contributed to our understanding that cultural differences, race, gender, and ethnicity are as important as individual-level differences in predicting the success of health and disease prevention efforts. Behavioral sciences have been critical to U.S. and international activities addressing HIV/AIDS, STDs, and TB. For HIV/AIDS, behavioral sciences have enhanced our understanding of attitudes, health-seeking behaviors, treatment adherence, and prevention strategies. This research makes clear that “one size does not fit all” when developing prevention programs, a point that is also applicable to TB treatment and control strategies.
More recently, the Institute of Medicine report Ending Neglect: Eliminating Tuberculosis in the United States called for studies to understand how interventions can be tailored to particular high-risk populations. Clearly, there is an expanding role for behavioral and social science research in informing the fight against tuberculosis. This Forum marks the continuation and refinement of efforts to set an agenda for TB control and prevention research in these disciplines.