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HIV and TB: the evil nexus.
Jan 6, 2012

hi doc, i am recently diagnosed and i am from a developing country and the disease which terrifies me is TB. here TB is MDR and XDR with a high mortality rate and we are always exposed to that. i dont have any idea about newest diagnostic procedure for TB detection other than sputum AFB,chest x ray or mantoux. also mantoux result is very confusing for positive people. is there any rapid test for TB in the market? is there any new medicine for MDR/XDR TB other than DOTS or DOTS+ regimen? really feeling afraid about TB because I often come in contact with TB patients in a localized area through which i have to pass inevitably due to some unavoidable professional circumstances. and TB can get activated at any CD4 count. so dying of fear. please help and suggest me how can i avoid and diagnose TB (if infected)at a very early stage doing regular TB tests based on newer techniques. last question: if TB is detected early, then chance of recovery is better than if diagnosed late (Susceptible/MDR/XDR)? thank u.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

Sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. You're right that TB can be an especially significant problem for people living with HIV. Depending on where you live, a Mantoux test is a good test to see if you've been exposed to TB in the past. Other tests include the Quantiferon (gamma interferon releasing test). There is no "rapid test" for TB.

What's probably most important with your diagnosis is to make sure that your doctors do appropriate screening tests (a chest x-ray, maybe a Mantoux test, and certainly a good clinical examination for signs and symptoms of TB).

Keeping your CD4 count from ever getting too low is one way to minimize your risks of developing TB or the serious complications of disseminated TB, so a discussion about when the most appropriate time to start HIV medications would be part of my strategy to stay healthy.

I hope that helps, BY

my friend is HIV infected
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