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Tuberculosis testing gap among people living with HIV is narrowing

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© UNAIDS

The risk of developing tuberculosis among the 38 million people living with HIV in 2019 was 18 times higher than in the rest of the world’s population. Tuberculosis remains the single largest cause of premature death among people living with HIV.

Scale-up of antiretroviral therapy and improvements in the integrated delivery of HIV and tuberculosis services have reduced tuberculosis-related deaths among people living with HIV by 69% globally, from 678 000 in 2000 to 208 000 in 2019. Among the 131 countries that reported data to UNAIDS and the World Health Organization in 2020, 48.9% of the estimated 815 000 people living with HIV who developed tuberculosis (incident cases) received treatment for both HIV and tuberculosis.

The tuberculosis testing gap—the gap between the number of people living with HIV who are estimated to have tuberculosis and the number of people living with tuberculosis who have tested positive for HIV—is narrowing. However, the 456 426 tuberculosis cases among people living with HIV that were notified in 2019 represented just 56% of the estimated number of incident tuberculosis cases among people living with HIV that year. Among people living with HIV who were notified tuberculosis cases, 88% were on antiretroviral therapy in 2019.

Estimated global number of incident HIV-positive TB cases compared with the global number of notified new and relapse tuberculosis cases known to be HIV-positive and the global number of tuberculosis patients started on antiretroviral therapy, 2004-2019