About the patient blogs


Phumeza Tisile, 23 years, at her home in Khayelitsha, South Africa on August 16, 2013, the day she celebrated her cure from XDR-TB
Phumeza Tisile, August 2013, the day she celebrated her cure from extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis

About the patient blogs

As there are many diseases and treatments that are still neglected or have life-threatening or life-limiting side effects, we believe patients should have the opportunity to speak out and share their experiences.

TB & Me was our first and longest-running patient blog, but we now host blog posts from people with other long-term health issues.


About TB & Me

TB & Me is a collaborative blogging project for patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensive drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). They are writing about their experiences of living with tuberculosis and the treatment they receive. The project is run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF).


What is drug-resistant tuberculosis?

Multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is TB that is resistant to at least two of the best anti-TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin. These are known as ‘first-line’ drugs, as they are usually the first choice for treatment.

Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is caused by strains of MDR-TB that are also resistant to second-line drugs, including at least one from the class of fluroquinolones, and at least one of three injectable second-line drugs.

Find out more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis >


Why a blogging project for TB patients?

TB & Me was launched because multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is a neglected disease. Very little money has been invested in research and development of diagnostics or new, improved treatment.

People who have the disease have no choice but to take medicines that can have severe side-effects.

 TB & Me gives patients with MDR-TB the opportunity to tell the world about the problems that affect their lives, how treatment and services could be improved and what it feels like to have the disease. It is also an opportunity to reach out to others who have the disease.


Who are the TB & Me bloggers?

TB & Me bloggers come from all over the world. They participate voluntarily in the project. If at some point a patient chooses to stop blogging, MSF accepts this unconditionally. For patients treated in MSF projects, we always make it clear to patients that the decision to blog or not will in no way affect the care they receive.


Can I be part of TB & Me?

The TB & Me project is open to anyone undergoing treatment for MDR-TB or XDR-TB, or survivors of the condition. To participate, just email us at blogs@london.msf.org. We would love to hear from you.


Can I write anonymously?

Yes. Some people choose to use their full names, some their first name only, and others prefer to be anonymous. We will always respect your decision of how much information to reveal about yourself on the blog. Before we publish anything, we will ask you to fill out a consent form where you can tell us what it's ok to publish on the site.


Will you edit my posts?

MSF staff check spelling and grammar, but we never change what bloggers say. The only exception to this would be if information in a patient's blog compromises the safety of MSF patients and / or staff. This is rare and usually only the case for patients in MSF projects. In this case, the draft is discussed with the patient to find a solution.


What is supported blogging?

Some of the patients sharing their stories (especially those in MSF projects) may have limited reading and writing skills or access to the Internet. In these cases, patients and MSF staff work together, with the patient dictating their blog post and the MSF staff recording, transcribing and translating it so that it can be posted on the website.
When patients receive questions and comments in this situation, all the answers they give are provided in the same way.


I'm a publisher or journalist. Can I reproduce the blog posts on this site, or interview one of the bloggers?

Please contact blogs@london.msf.org for information about reproducing the content on this site or about interviewing our bloggers.


What is your privacy policy?

MSF takes the security of personal data very seriously and has clear policies and guidance on obtaining consent from both staff and patients who may feature in these blogs. If you wish to remove or change any personal information published on these pages, please contact the site manager by email: blogs@london.msf.org 

Personal data is retained securely in accordance with our internal retention policy and the Data Protection Act. For more information please see our privacy notice.