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Tuberculosis infection testing in HIV-positive men who have sex with men from Xi'an China

  • H. N. XIN (a1), X. W. LI (a1), L. ZHANG (a2), Z. LI (a1), H. R. ZHANG (a1), Y. YANG (a3), M. F. LI (a1), B. X. FENG (a1), H. J. LI (a1) and L. GAO (a1)...

In individuals with latent tuberculosis (TB) infection, those living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) had a 20–37 times higher risk of developing active TB compared to those without HIV infection. Systematic testing and treatment of latent TB infection are priorities in HIV-infected persons. In China, the prevalence of HIV infection in men who have sex with men (MSM) has gradually increased in the past decade. However, the prevalence of TB infection has been studied sparsely in HIV-infected MSM. Hence, we conducted a pilot study in MSM living with HIV infection in Xi'an city to evaluate TB infection status by means of interferon-γ release assay (IGRA). A total of 182 HIV-infected MSM were included in this study, the prevalence of IGRA positivity was observed to be 8·79% (16/182). IGRA quantitative results were not statistically influenced by the CD4 cell counts of the study participants. However, IGRA positivity was found to be lower than our previously reported data from the general population. This suggests that immunological deficiency might decrease the sensitivity of IGRA and thus increase the number of false negatives. Our primary results, suggesting systematic testing and treatment of latent TB infection together with active case-finding, were equally important for TB control in persons living with HIV infection.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Dr L. Gao, Institute of Pathogen Biology, CAMS & PUMC, Dong Dan San Tiao 9, 100730 Beijing, China. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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