Tuberculosis remains predominantly a disease of the disadvantaged and marginalized. The incidence of the disease is increasing in many industrially developed countries, particularly among the poor, ethnic minorities, prisoners and other institutionalized persons, and the socially isolated and hard to reach groups. Strengthening of the tuberculosis services is required to care for these groups. Millions of people in the developing nations are disadvantaged by poverty and inequity, and recent health sector reforms have not always been entirely in their interest. A further serious problem is the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which not only facilitates the spread of tuberculosis but, by its associated stigma, leads to delayed treatment seeking and poor adherence to therapy. In recent times, emphasis has moved away from didactic principles of tuberculosis "control" to community-and patient-centered health services, based on analysis of local factors affecting case finding and adherence to therapy.