Understanding the Decline of Incident, Active Tuberculosis in People With Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Switzerland

Clin Infect Dis. 2023 Nov 11;77(9):1303-1311. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciad330.


Background: People with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) (PWH) are frequently coinfected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and at risk for progressing from asymptomatic latent TB infection (LTBI) to active tuberculosis (TB). LTBI testing and preventive treatment (TB specific prevention) are recommended, but its efficacy in low transmission settings is unclear.

Methods: We included PWH enrolled from 1988 to 2022 in the Swiss HIV Cohort study (SHCS). The outcome, incident TB, was defined as TB ≥6 months after SHCS inclusion. We assessed its risk factors using a time-updated hazard regression, modeled the potential impact of modifiable factors on TB incidence, performed mediation analysis to assess underlying causes of time trends, and evaluated preventive measures.

Results: In 21 528 PWH, LTBI prevalence declined from 15.1% in 2001% to 4.6% in 2021. Incident TB declined from 90.8 cases/1000 person-years in 1989 to 0.1 in 2021. A positive LTBI test showed a higher risk for incident TB (hazard ratio [HR] 9.8, 5.8-16.5) but only 10.5% of PWH with incident TB were tested positive. Preventive treatment reduced the risk in LTBI test positive PWH for active TB (relative risk reduction, 28.1%, absolute risk reduction 0.9%). On population level, the increase of CD4 T-cells and reduction of HIV viral load were the main driver of TB decrease.

Conclusions: TB specific prevention is effective in selected patient groups. On a population level, control of HIV-1 remains the most important factor for incident TB reduction. Accurate identification of PWH at highest risk for TB is an unmet clinical need.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Latent Tuberculosis* / epidemiology
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Tuberculosis* / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis* / epidemiology