About TB and HIV

Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV are inextricably intertwined, with one-third of the world's 35.3 million HIV-positive individuals also infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that causes TB disease. Since HIV infection weakens the immune system, an HIV-positive person who is infected with TB bacilli is much more likely to develop active TB than someone who is HIV-negative. TB has become a leading cause of death among those who are HIV-positive, despite the fact that today HIV infection can be managed with antiretroviral medication, and TB can be cured.

People living with HIV need early diagnosis and treatment of TB. One of the main obstacles in treating TB and HIV co-infection is the lack of coordination amongst TB and HIV programmes, resulting in a situation that can significantly complicate the management of patients with both diseases. The Union established a Department of HIV in 2002 with the aim of developing models and best practices to help reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by the dual epidemic of tuberculosis and HIV.