Skip to content
Home » Blog » Tuberculosis and HIV: what is the relationship between these diseases?

Tuberculosis and HIV: what is the relationship between these diseases?

    Do you believe that Fraquinha Diabetes exists? - Portal Diabetes and You

    Tuberculosis and HIV are two major health problems throughout the world. For the HIV-positive person, all preventive care against tuberculosis is essential, and the person must follow very closely so that there are no surprises.

    If there is a diagnosis of co-infection with the two agents, the patient should start treatment immediately. Tuberculosis is curable and the presence of HIV in the body can be controlled, but it takes time.

    Continue reading and discover the relationship between tuberculosis and HIV.

    What is tuberculosis?

    Tuberculosis is a highly contagious infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs, but can reach other regions and organs of the body. The etiological agent, that is, the organism that causes the disease, is a bacterium, known as “Koch’s bacillus”, whose scientific name is mycobacterial tuberculosis.

    Since 1982, March 24 has been considered World Tuberculosis Day, at the initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO). The date is a tribute to the centenary of the discovery of the bacillus responsible for the disease, announced on March 24, 1882 by the doctor Robert Koch.

    What is HIV?

    HIV is the acronym for Human immunodeficiency virus (human immunodeficiency virus), the etiologic agent that causes AIDS, or Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Thus, HIV is the acronym for virus, while AIDS is the acronym for disease.

    The disease is the result of the action of the virus on the immune system, the body’s defense system. When the disease is clearly present, the person is defenseless and can easily be affected by other pathological microorganisms (opportunistic diseases).

    READ also  Know the risks of excessive alcohol consumption!

    It should be noted, however, that an individual can be infected with the HIV virus (HIV positive), but not develop the disease. This condition can be maintained for life: carrier, but not sick. However, you can spread the virus to other people.

    What is the relationship between tuberculosis and HIV?

    As the HIV virus can make the body fragile, unable to react sufficiently to avoid the aggravation of opportunistic diseases, tuberculosis finds fertile ground to settle in the person infected with the virus. Therefore, coinfection situations can be particularly dangerous.

    With the emergence of HIV, a significant increase in tuberculosis cases was observed worldwide. In this sense, it is known that the possibility of infection by Koch’s bacillus is 28 times bigger in patients with HIV.

    In turn, in Brazil there is a percentage of the order of 10% to 12% of people infected with tuberculosis who also have the HIV virus. In fact, the leading cause of death among people with HIV is tuberculosis.

    How to diagnose these diseases?

    Invariably, upon a positive diagnosis for tuberculosis, the initiative should be taken to verify the concomitant presence of HIV in the person’s body. It must be taken into account that tuberculosis is a curable disease, while the control of HIV in the body can be carried out, but it should not be interrupted.

    Diagnosis of HIV in the body.

    The diagnosis of the presence of HIV in the body is made from the result of the anti-HIV test. It is a blood test that investigates the presence of anti-HIV-1/2 antibodies, formed by the body to fight the virus that may have infected it.

    READ also  Learn how the adopted lifestyle affects people's quality of life

    Thus, when antibodies are found, the diagnosis is said to be reactive or, popularly, “positive”. Otherwise, the result is considered nonreactive or “negative.”

    The person must perform this examination at least 30 days after the situation of possible contamination, if it is known or suspected. This is the minimum time for virus proliferation to cause antibody formation and be detected by the test.

    Fiasp – New Ultra-fast Acting Insulin Aspart - Portal Diabetes & Você

    Diagnosis of tuberculosis

    The diagnosis of tuberculosis can be made in different ways, some better than others. Thus, health specialists can consider as tests for the formation of the diagnosis of the disease:

    • lung x-ray;
    • sputum laboratory examination;
    • tuberculin skin test;
    • molecular diagnosis (identification of the genetic material of the bacterium).

    How is tuberculosis and HIV coinfection treated?

    The biggest obstacle for co-infection, that is, for simultaneous infection by both diseases, is the appearance of low immunity caused by HIV. Therefore, responses to tuberculosis treatment become increasingly better as immunity in control of HIV recovers.

    Because it is the presence of two different agents, bacteria (tuberculosis) and virus (HIV), the person with a chronic health condition must use more than one drug. Treatment with antiretroviral drugs to combat HIV should be started as soon as possible, as it increases the chances of survival of coinfected patients.

    In that sense, according to Official guide of the Ministry of Health, all people with co-infection should start antiretroviral therapy between 2the already 8the week after starting treatment for tuberculosis. Please note that it is not recommended to start treatment together for both conditions.

    READ also  Diabetes: Contraception, what is the best method I can use? - Portal Diabetes and You

    How can HIV-positive people protect themselves against tuberculosis?

    HIV-positive people should be more careful about the possibility of becoming infected with Koch’s bacillus. The most appropriate way for this purpose is the adoption of antiretroviral therapy, suitable for the treatment of cases of HIV infection.

    Life insurance: who is entitled and how to apply?

    This therapy seeks to strengthen the immune system and allow the body to have resources to face the possible presence of the tuberculosis bacillus. For this, however, early diagnosis is essential, so that appropriate treatment can be started soon.

    The practice of constant monitoring is essential to identify the presence of the bacteria, which may be latent, that is, present in the body, but still without symptoms. Continuous monitoring allows the presence of Koch’s bacillus to be treated immediately. Telemedicine can be of great help in this task.

    As you can see, tuberculosis and HIV are related in coinfection and directly interfere in the possibility of more serious situations. What must be monitored frequently so that the person begins treatment promptly and guarantees greater chances of recovery.

    We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By agreeing you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.