Tuberculosis infection and disease in people living with HIV in countries with low tuberculosis incidence

Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2018 Jul 1;22(7):713-722. doi: 10.5588/ijtld.17.0672.


In countries with low tuberculosis (TB) incidence, TB is concentrated in vulnerable populations, including people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV), who have a substantially greater risk of TB than people without HIV. We searched PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science for studies evaluating the risk factors for latent tuberculous infection (LTBI) or active TB in PLHIV in countries with TB incidence 10 per 100 000 population. Due to the number of risk factors evaluated and heterogeneity in study designs, we present summary data and a narrative synthesis. We included 45 studies: 17 reported data on the risk factors for LTBI and 32 on active TB. Black, Asian or Hispanic ethnicity, birth or long-term residence in a country with high TB incidence, and HIV acquisition via injecting drug use (IDU) or heterosexual sex were strong predictors of both LTBI and active TB. History of contact, a greater degree of immunosuppression at diagnosis or higher viral load increased the TB risk. Early HIV diagnosis to allow timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy is essential for the prevention of TB in PLHIV. Screening and treating PLHIV for LTBI to reduce the risk of progression to active TB disease should also be considered to further reduce the burden of active TB in low TB incidence settings. Research to support the expansion of TB and HIV prevention and treatment globally is essential to eliminate TB in low-incidence settings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Latent Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Latent Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / epidemiology*
  • Viral Load