For couples where only one partner is HIV positive, the guidelines recommend Guidance on Couples HIV Testing and Counselling Including Antiretroviral . of HIV and tuberculosis in adults, pregnant women, and serodiscordant couples. It's not a problem for most people. But this opportunistic infection is a leading cause of death for people with HIV. Find out why and what you can do about it. What is the connection between HIV and TB? TB is an Treatment with HIV medicines is called antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART protects the.
If the skin reacts by swelling then the person is probably infected with TB.
Tuberculosis and HIV co-infection | AVERT
However, this method is not wholly reliable at detecting TB infections among HIV-infected people because their weakened immune systems often cannot mount a strong enough defence against the injected proteins to cause swelling. It also detects both active and latent TB, meaning the test is not very accurate at diagnosing active TB disease in people who live in areas where TB and thus latent TB infection is very common.
In cases of extra-pulmonary TB where the disease is affecting organs other than the lungsfluid or tissue samples may be tested. If there is doubt about the diagnosis of TB, a culture of TB bacteria can also be grown in a laboratory. However, this requires specialised and costly equipment and can take six to eight weeks to produce a result.
Tuberculosis: The Connection between TB and HIV
If the necessary facilities are not available then the TB diagnosis is often based on symptoms. How is TB treated? Active TB disease can almost always be cured with a combination of antibiotics. The variety of treatments and drug options depend on the country you are in. A proper combination of anti-TB drugs provides both prevention and cure. Effective treatment quickly makes the person with TB non-contagious and therefore prevents further spread of TB.
Achieving a cure takes about six to eight months of daily treatment. Several drugs are needed to treat active TB. Taking several drugs does a better job of killing all of the bacteria and is more likely to prevent them from becoming resistant to the drugs. To ensure thorough treatment, it is often recommended that the patient takes his or her pills in the presence of someone who can supervise the therapy.
This approach is called DOTS directly observed treatment, short course. Can TB be prevented? There is a vaccine against TB called BCG, but the vaccine is now very old it was first used in the sand tests have found it to be very variable in its ability to protect people from infection in modern settings. When it does provide protection, this generally only lasts for around 15 years.
This is often fatal. A drug called isoniazid INH can be used as a preventative therapy for those who are at high risk of becoming infected with TB or for those who have inactive TB. People who have inactive TB but are not yet sick can take a course of isoniazid for several months to stop them developing active TB.
This will cure them and prevent transmission to others. It is important that the TB treatment is taken regularly and exactly as the health care provider has advised.
If the drugs are not taken regularly, the bacteria can become resistant to the drugs and this can be dangerous. This is why access to antiretroviral treatment is also vitally important. Drug resistance usually arises when TB patients do not or cannot take their medicine as prescribed, and drug-resistant mutations of the TB bacteria are allowed to replicate.
MDR-TB is a serious problem and is very difficult to treat. In normal first-line treatment, patients take the drugs isoniazid and rifampicin the most effective TB drug available plus two or three other first-line drugs for around six to eight months. People with TB disease often feel weak or sick, lose weight, have fever, and have night sweats.
If TB disease is in their lungs, they may also cough and have chest pain, and they might cough up blood.
Other symptoms depend on what part of the body is affected by the TB germs. People with TB disease may spread TB germs to others. TB disease needs to be treated with medicine. The good news is that latent TB infection and TB disease can be treated. The first step is to find out if you are infected with the TB germs.
You can do this by getting a TB skin test or TB blood test. You can get this TB test from your doctor or the local health department. How are the TB tests given?
For a TB skin test, a health worker uses a small needle to put some fluid, called tuberculin, just under your skin. This is usually done on the lower inside part of your arm. After you get the test, you must return in 2 to 3 days to see if there is a reaction to the test. If there is a reaction, the size of the reaction is measured to determine if you have a positive result. If you receive the TB blood test, a sample of your blood will be taken to do the test.
Your health care worker will tell you how to get the results of your test.
What if my TB test is negative? A negative test usually means you are not infected with TB germs. However, the tests may be falsely negative if you have a weakened immune system or if you were infected recently. This is because it usually takes 2 to 8 weeks after exposure to a person with TB disease for your immune system to produce a response to the test.
If you have a negative result and it has been less than 8 weeks since you were last exposed to TB disease, you may need to get a second test. Your health care worker will let you know if you need another test. Some people with HIV infection will have a negative test result even if they are infected with TB germs.