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Clin Microbiol Rev. 2011 Apr;24(2):351-76. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00042-10.

HIV and tuberculosis: a deadly human syndemic.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016 USA.


A syndemic is defined as the convergence of two or more diseases that act synergistically to magnify the burden of disease. The intersection and syndemic interaction between the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics have had deadly consequences around the world. Without adequate control of the TB-HIV syndemic, the long-term TB elimination target set for 2050 will not be reached. There is an urgent need for additional resources and novel approaches for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of both HIV and TB. Moreover, multidisciplinary approaches that consider HIV and TB together, rather than as separate problems and diseases, will be necessary to prevent further worsening of the HIV-TB syndemic. This review examines current knowledge of the state and impact of the HIV-TB syndemic and reviews the epidemiological, clinical, cellular, and molecular interactions between HIV and TB.

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