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14 Dec 2004

I would like to know what the implications are if some with HIV contracts TB. Can it be properly cured or is there a chance that it could re-accur. Also how contagious is it and what is the possiblitly of it being passed onto others coming into contact with that person and what steps we can take when coming into contact with that person.
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EnviroHealth expert
envirohealth expert

01 Jan 0001

TB is a serious disease, and is particularly serious and common if you are HIV-positive. Treatment of TB is more difficult if you have HIV, but, of the diseases associated with HIV, TB is relatively preventable and curable. The chances of it recurring increase the more a person's immune system is compromised.

TB is mainly spread by a person with active TB disease person coughing or sneezing. This releases infected droplets into the air, and if someone inhales the droplets, they may become infected. You are only likely to get infected if you spend time with the sick person daily e.g. if you live or work with them. A healthy person can be infected with TB for years without getting sick or spreading the disease. But, if your immune system becomes weakened for some reason (for example by HIV), TB infection can then develop into active disease. So it's very important to get tested for TB infection if you are HIV-positive.

To avoid getting infected, avoid close contact (e.g. kissing) with a person while they have active TB. If you are sick with TB yourself, you should:
*NB: take the FULL course of medication exactly as prescribed, even if you feel better. Ask your health care professional when you will no longer be contagious.
*Wash hands after sneezing, coughing or holding your hands near your mouth or nose.
*Cover mouth with a tissue when coughing, sneezing or laughing. Discard used tissues in a plastic bag, then seal and throw it away.
*Stay away from work or school.
*Sleep in a room away from other family members.
*Ventilate the room well e.g. open doors and windows and/or use a fan.

For more comprehensive info, Click on the HIV/Aids Disease Centre in Health24's Medical section. Scroll down to Contents. You will find articles on Tuberculosis under Symptoms and Diseases Associated. You can also read more about TB and HIV on the AfroAidsINfo website, which is linked to ours.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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