If they have latent TB, which cannot be spread
to others, they are at risk for the infection becoming an active disease, which
can be spread to others. Active TB in the lungs also is more likely to spread
to other parts of the body (extrapulmonary TB) in people who have HIV infection
than in people who do not have it.
Both active and latent TB are
sometimes difficult to diagnose in people who also are infected with HIV or who
skin tests sometimes do not detect an infection in
people who have AIDS or HIV infection even when they have a TB infection. This
is because their
immune systems often do not work well enough to
respond to a skin test.
Active TB symptoms may be similar to common
AIDS symptoms (weight loss, night sweats, fever, and fatigue).
lung infections common in AIDS, such as Pneumocystis
pneumonia, may mask the signs of TB infection on chest X-rays.
Active TB can be the first sign of an HIV infection or
When people are diagnosed with active TB and have
risk factors for HIV infection, they should have a test for
When people are diagnosed with HIV, they also should have a
test for TB.
Active TB may speed the progression of HIV in people who are
infected with both diseases and also may increase their risk of dying from the
HIV infection. People who have both diseases may be at increased risk for
multidrug-resistant TB. For these reasons, it is
important to promptly
treat people who have HIV infection and TB. With
treatment, latent and active TB usually can be cured in people who have HIV or
Sonnenberg P, et al. (2005). How soon after infection
with HIV does the risk of tuberculosis start to increase? Journal of Infectious Diseases, 191(2): 150–158.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.