Early Symptoms Of AIDS Tuberculosis

AIDS: Opportunistic Infections


Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection of the lungs, which is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Symptoms may include

  1. cough
  2. shortness of breath
  3. pleurisy (pain with breathing or coughing)
  4. fever
  5. weight loss
  6. night sweats
  7. chills
  8. loss of appetite

The disease can cause serious breathing problems, which can be life threatening, especially if left untreated.

Tuberculosis is highly contagious. The disease is transmitted through airborne droplets when a person with the infection coughs, talks, or sneezes.
About 10-15 million Americans have latent TB infection, which means they are not sick, but they carry the bacterium that causes the disease. Only 10% of individuals with latent TB ever develop the infection.

While tuberculosis is not considered an AIDS-defining illness, HIV patients have an increased risk of developing TB because they have weakened immune systems. The risk of developing active TB increases 7-10% in HIV patients who have latent TB. HIV patients are more likely to experience symptoms in areas of the body other than the lungs. This is called extrapulmonary TB.

The disease may affect the bones, joints, nervous system, or urinary tract. Also, TB appears to make HIV infection worse; researchers have observed faster HIV replication when tuberculosis is also present.