HIV-associated TB syndemic: A growing clinical challenge worldwide


The association of tuberculosis (TB) with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome over the past several years has become an emerging syndemic. Approximately 10% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) with latent TB infection will develop active TB disease each year. In this review, we highlight that this phenomenon is not limited to high endemic regions, such as Afro-Asian nations, but globalization/migration is causing increased case detection even in developed nations, such as the United States. Active screening should be performed for TB in PLHIV. A high degree of clinical suspicion for TB is warranted in PLHIV presenting with fever, cough, and unintentional weight loss. HIV-Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) coinfection is often paucibacillary, precluding diagnosis by conventional diagnostics and/or smear microscopy/culture. Improved detection of pulmonary and extrapulmonary TB is now possible by incorporation of the GeneXPERT MTB/RIF assay (Cepheid Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, USA). The World Health Organization recommends instituting immediate therapy for MTB, in conjunction with ongoing or newly introduced anti-retroviral therapy. Vigilance is required to detect drug-induced organ injuries, and early-treatment-induced immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. Collaborating MTB and HIV activities in concentrated HIV epidemic settings should become a high public health priority.


Montales MT, Chaudhury A, Beebe A, Patil S, Patil N.




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Tuberculosis


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