TB Data, Sex and Gender

Did you know that males in South Africa are 1,6 times more likely to have TB than females? That’s 1,094 per 100,000 vs 675 per 100,000 respectively, according to the 2019 TB Prevalence Survey.

One of the findings of the South African Community, Rights and Gender Assessment was that while information about biological sex is collected at facility-level, it is not generally available for analysis in relation to TB statistics. This means that districts and provinces are largely unaware of how and whether sex impacts on their TB statistics. Similarly, any interventions implemented to reach males or females are difficult to monitor.

Information around gender (for example, cisgender, transgender, gender fluid or non-binary) is not routinely collected and there is therefore little data about how gender minorities experience TB services. This even though the limited data that does exist suggests that discrimination creates significant barriers to accessing care for gender minorities.

On Wednesday, 29 March 2023 TB HIV Care hosted a workshop in Johannesburg to explore how information around sex and gender is currently collected, and how it can – or should – be collected and presented within TB statistics.

The workshop, which was attended by representatives from SANAC and civil society, resulted in a draft position statement that will be presented to the CSF TB Task Team for adoption.

The ultimate aim is that the CSF TB Task Team will meet with the National TB Task Team to present the finalised position statement calling for real-time, sex-disaggregated TB data that helps inform and create evidence based-strategies to address differential disease risk and service utilisation.