Having witnessed a large increase in Mycobacterium tuberculosis notifications in south London, we wanted to ascertain the prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis co-infection in our patients. All patients with tuberculosis and their contacts were anonymously tested for HIV in blood and saliva, respectively. 11.4% of patients (from various demographic groups) with tuberculosis who attend chest clinics in south London are HIV positive. In addition, 5% of individuals seen in the tuberculosis contact screening clinics and 4% new entrants are HIV positive. All patients with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, irrespective of background, should be urged to have an HIV test.