Rapid scale-up of antiretroviral treatment programmes is happening in Africa, driven by international advocacy and policy directives and supported by unprecedented donor funding and technical assistance. This welcome development offers hope to millions of HIV-infected Africans, among whom tuberculosis is the major cause of serious illness and death. Little in the way of HIV diagnosis or care was previously offered to patients with tuberculosis, by either national tuberculosis or AIDS control programmes, with tuberculosis services focused exclusively on diagnosis and treatment of rising numbers of patients. Tuberculosis control in Africa has yet to adapt to the new climate of antiretroviral availability. Many barriers exist, from drug interactions to historic differences in the way that tuberculosis and HIV are perceived, but failure to successfully integrate HIV and tuberculosis control will threaten the viability of both programmes. Here, we review tuberculosis epidemiology in Africa and policy implications of HIV/AIDS treatment scale-up.