TB Screening Among People Living With HIV/AIDS in Resource-Limited Settings

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Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among people living with HIV (PLHIV), making improved prevention and treatment of HIV-associated TB critical to ensuring long-term survival of PLHIV. TB screening among PLHIV is central to implementation of the World Health Organization's 3 I's interventions for reducing the impact of the TB and HIV syndemics. Effective TB screening will result in the identification of PLHIV with presumptive TB disease (ie, those with a positive symptom screen who require appropriate evaluation, including the use of diagnostic tools such as the Xpert MTB/RIF assay) and those eligible for isoniazid preventive therapy (ie, those who have a negative clinical symptom screen or who have a positive screen but are found not to have TB disease). Identification of PLHIV with presumptive TB also facilitates implementation of basic administrative measures for TB infection control, including fast tracking of coughing patients and separation from noncoughing PLHIV to reduce TB transmission. By contributing to the early diagnosis of TB disease among PLHIV, TB screening is also critical to facilitate early initiation of antiretroviral treatment among PLHIV diagnosed with TB disease who might not otherwise be eligible for antiretroviral treatment based on CD4 count or clinical staging. TB screening thus serves as a gateway for multiple TB/HIV interventions and is an integral part of routine clinical services for PLHIV at each clinic visit.

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