HIV Status Unknown for One-Third of TB Patients
About one-third of U.S. tuberculosis patients have not been tested for HIV, according to a report in MMWR.
The latest testing data — from the U.S. National TB Surveillance System — show that HIV status was known for 69% of TB patients in 2005, up from 35% in 1993. Of those who had been tested in 2005, 13% were HIV positive. TB patients at greatest risk of HIV include drug users, the homeless, non-Hispanic blacks, prison inmates, and alcoholics.
The CDC recommends regular HIV testing for all patients with tuberculosis. The report notes, “Knowing the HIV status of TB patients is essential for optimal management of patient care, including selection of appropriate TB-treatment regimens and referral to and coordination of care for HIV infection.”
MMWR article (Free)