Approaches to tuberculosis screening and diagnosis in people with HIV in resource-limited settings

Lancet Infect Dis. 2009 Mar;9(3):173-84. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(09)70043-X.


Tuberculosis is the main cause of morbidity and mortality in people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to addressing the dual epidemic of tuberculosis and HIV. Increasing recognition of the importance of integrating tuberculosis services--including screening--into HIV care has led to global policies and the beginnings of implementation of joint activities at the national level. However, debate remains about the best methods of screening for pulmonary tuberculosis among people living with HIV/AIDS in resource-limited settings. Mycobacterial culture, the gold standard for tuberculosis diagnosis, is too slow and complex to be a useful screening test in such settings. More widely available methods, such as symptom screening, sputum smear microscopy, chest radiography, and tuberculin skin testing have important shortcomings, especially in people living with HIV/AIDS. However, until simpler, cheaper, and more sensitive diagnostics for tuberculosis are available in peripheral healthcare settings, a strategy must be developed that uses current evidence to combine available screening tools.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Developing Countries*
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sputum / microbiology
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / complications*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / diagnosis*