TB and HIV/AIDS
||TB and HIV/AIDS
What is TB?
TB is short for a disease called tuberculosis. TB is spread through
the air from one person to another. TB germs are passed through
the air when someone who is sick with TB disease of the lungs
or throat coughs, speaks, laughs, sings, or sneezes. Anyone near
the sick person can breathe TB germs into their lungs.
TB germs can live in your body without making you sick. This is
called latent TB infection. This means you have only inactive
(sleeping) TB germs in your body. The inactive germs cannot be passed
on to anyone else. However, if these germs wake up or become active
in your body and multiply, you will get sick with TB disease.
When TB germs are active (multiplying in your body), this is called
TB disease. These germs usually attack the lungs. They can
also attack other parts of the body, such as, the kidneys, brain,
or spine. TB disease will make you sick. People with TB disease
may spread the germs to people they spend time with every day.
How Does HIV Infection Affect TB?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or the AIDS virus helps TB germs
make you sick because it weakens your system. If you are infected
with HIV and with TB germs, you have a very big chance of getting
TB disease. The TB germs are much more likely to become active
and attack your lungs and other parts of the body.
If you think you may have HIV infection, talk to your doctor
about getting an HIV test. If you have HIV infection and
TB infection, you must get treatment right away to keep from
getting sicker. Take your medicine exactly the way you doctor or
health care worker tells you. TB drugs are very strong. They can
treat TB infection and TB disease, even in people
with HIV infection.
Remember, TB drugs only work when you take them the way your health
care worker tells you!