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HIV/AIDS

Updated 25 June 2014

HIV and Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is the most common Aids-defining illness in South Africa and worldwide, but people with HIV respond well to TB treatment, says Dr Avron Urison of AllLife.

Worldwide, Tuberculosis (TB) is now the most common cause of death among people with HIV. TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.The most common symptom of TB in the lungs (often called pulmonary TB) is a persistent cough (longer than 2 weeks), which produces sputum (a mucous substance that is secreted into the airways of the respiratory tract)  that can also be bloody. Weight loss, chills and fevers followed by sweats, fatigue, night sweats, difficulty in breathing and, occasionally, pain in the chest are also common symptoms of TB. These symptoms can appear very slowly and are similar to other illnesses seen in people with HIV.

CD4 cell count and viral load are the key indicators of the effect HIV is having on the immune system and should be monitored regularly. 

 

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