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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TB and Aids Linked

ATLANTA -- Health clinics should look more carefully for the AIDS virus among people who have close contact with tuberculosis patients because HIV-positive people are much more vulnerable to TB, the U.S. government said Thursday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied the screening practices of clinics in 11 urban areas in the United States. Researchers found that the AIDS virus status was unknown for 87 percent of the 6,225 people who had close contact with infectious tuberculosis patients.

People infected with the virus that causes AIDS are much more likely than healthy people to contract TB, which is transmitted through the air by those with active tuberculosis. Indeed, if TB bacteria are in their bodies, HIV-positive individuals are 800 times more likely to get active tuberculosis compared with those who are HIV-free.