We should remember few points in TB/HIV.
Pulmonary TB is the most common form of TB disease among PLHIV which generally manifest similar clinical features, namely cough, fever, night sweats, coughing out blood and weight loss like an HIV uninfected person. The presentation may sometimes vary with the degree of immune suppression. In PLHIV with mild immune suppression the clinical picture of TB resembles usual adult post-primary pulmonary TB; that is sputum smear is frequently positive for TB bacilli, and the chest X-ray typically may show unilateral or bilateral upper lobe infiltrates, cavitations, pulmonary fibrotic changes and volume loss.
In the advanced form of immune suppression, the clinical picture becomes complex due to involvement of organs other than lungs (extra-pulmonary TB) with disseminated nature of the disease. The clinical picture of pulmonary TB also shows more atypical pattern with sputum smear result showing frequently negative result. Diagnosis, and especially management of TB becomes extremely challenging during this phase.
It is very important to suspect and detect TB among the PLHIV in the early stage when the diagnosis of sputum smear positive pulmonary TB can be easily conducted through sputum smear microscopy available at RNTCP and the affected person can be treated and cured by DOTS strategy without major difficulties.