CDC's Role in Combating the Interconnected Epidemics of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis

CDC is the lead federal agency in controlling HIV, other sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis (or TB). In 1995, recognizing the need to more fully integrate prevention efforts in all three areas, CDC created the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention.

Screening Is Vital for People At Risk For HIV and TB Infection

CDC works to prevent, control, and eventually eliminate TB from the United States. To accomplish that mission, CDC works with community, state, national, and international partners. TB is particularly dangerous for people infected with HIV and living with AIDS. Because HIV infection so severely weakens the immune system, people with both TB infection and HIV infection are at very high risk of developing TB disease (not everyone infected with the TB bacteria actually does develop disease). An estimated 10-15 million Americans are infected with TB, and this pool of infected people is the source of many future cases. Focused screening and preventive treatment programs for high risk-groups (particularly HIV-infected people) need to be substantially strengthened. All people infected with HIV should be tested for TB, and, if infected, they should have preventive therapy as soon as possible to prevent TB disease.

Global Impact of Tuberculosis

TB in the United States

TB disease was once the leading cause of death in the U.S. But, in the 1940's, scientists discovered the first of several drugs now used to treat TB. As a result, TB slowly began to disappear in the United States, with a 6% decrease per year in TB cases for more than 3 decades. However, between 1985 and 1992 TB cases increased.

Reasons for an Increase in TB Cases Between 1985 and 1992

Reasons for a Decrease in TB cases in 1993, 1994, and 1995

TB control is an exercise in vigilance; the goal of controlling and eventually eliminating TB requires a targeted and continuous effort to address the prevention and treatment needs for those most at risk and those most likely to develop active TB disease.

Tuberculosis Presentations in Vancouver


Tuberculosis (TB) Transmission among AIDS Patients in Puerto Rico, Karen A. Hennessey.

Characteristics of HIV Infected Tuberculosis Patients Age 25-44 Years, United States, 1993-1994, Eugene McCray.


Nosocomial Outbreak of Multi-drug Resistant Tuberculosis, Chicago, Renee Ridzon.

Tuberculosis in Children born to HIV-Infected Mothers in Texas, Joann M. Schulte.