Background: The increasing global burden of tuberculosis (TB) is linked to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
Methods: We reviewed data from notifications of TB cases, cohort treatment outcomes, surveys of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, and HIV prevalence in patients with TB and other subgroups. Information was collated from published literature and databases held by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (UNAIDS), the US Census Bureau, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Results: There were an estimated 8.3 million (5th-95th centiles, 7.3-9.2 million) new TB cases in 2000 (137/100,000 population; range, 121/100,000-151/100,000). Tuberculosis incidence rates were highest in the WHO African Region (290/100,000 per year; range, 265/100,000-331/100,000), as was the annual rate of increase in the number of cases (6%). Nine percent (7%-12%) of all new TB cases in adults (aged 15-49 years) were attributable to HIV infection, but the proportion was much greater in the WHO African Region (31%) and some industrialized countries, notably the United States (26%). There were an estimated 1.8 million (5th-95th centiles, 1.6-2.2 million) deaths from TB, of which 12% (226 000) were attributable to HIV. Tuberculosis was the cause of 11% of all adult AIDS deaths. The prevalence of M tuberculosis-HIV coinfection in adults was 0.36% (11 million people). Coinfection prevalence rates equaled or exceeded 5% in 8 African countries. In South Africa alone there were 2 million coinfected adults.
Conclusions: The HIV pandemic presents a massive challenge to global TB control. The prevention of HIV and TB, the extension of WHO DOTS programs, and a focused effort to control HIV-related TB in areas of high HIV prevalence are matters of great urgency.