Tuberculosis and HIV
Tuberculosis (TB) is not a disease of the past and anyone can get TB.
TB is an airborne meaning it is spread through the air when a person who has TB coughs, speaks or sings.
TB is caused by a bacterium that usually attacks the lungs. TB can also attack other body organs such as kidney, spine and brain.
If your immune system is very strong it kills the bacteria.
If your immune system is fairly strong it doesn’t kill the bacteria but keeps them under control and you don’t feel ill. This is called latent infection.
If your immune system is weak, it can’t control the bacteria. The TB bacteria grows and makes you ill. This is also called active infection.
Signs & Symptoms of TB
The signs and symptoms of TB include
- A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
- Pain in the chest
- Coughing up blood
- Weakness or fatigue
- Weight loss
- No appetite
TB is a serious health threat, especially for people living with HIV. People living with HIV are more likely than others to become sick with TB.
Worldwide, TB is one of the leading causes of death among people living with HIV
However, TB can be treated. There are a number of treatment options for people living with HIV who also have TB.
It is also a good idea if you are living with HIV to test often for TB.
If you are diagnosed with TB, you need to get into treatment immediately and adhere to your daily TB treatment as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
You should not stop taking your HIV treatment if you have TB.