What if you have TB and HIV?

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HIV weakens one’s immune system against illnesses and leads if untreated to AIDS. It is important for you to know if you have HIV because with treatment you can prevent AIDS. HIV is detected with a blood test. You can take the test anonymously for example in the Finnish AIDS Council. The testing there is  free of charge. Testing and early detection of HIV are the best start for effective treatment, care and support.

If you have untreated HIV, you can get also TB easier. HIV medication improves your immune system and hence decreases also your risk to get TB.

An HIV positive person who gets treatment for it, the symptoms of TB are the same as without HIV. You can have fever, slimy or bloodstained cough and loss of weight.

Without treatment HIV progresses and then also the symptoms of TB can be different like diffuse weakening of general condition, loss of weight and low grade fever. TB can be more often outside of the lungs, like in lymph glands or in bones. If untreated HIV progresses to AIDS, TB can get worse quickly and even lead to death.

If you have HIV and get ill with TB, you are treated both with HIV medicines and TB medicines. Your TB will be cured, although with a longer treatment. Your HIV needs lifelong treatment.

More information on HIV: www.hivtukikeskus.fi

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