An MSF nurse performs a TB LAM test using a patients’ urine to test the presence of TB in a severely ill AIDS patient. Photograph by Albert Masias
Technical brief |

A rapid TB test for people living with HIV

Note: This brief was updated March 2020

Photograph by Albert Masias

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among people living with HIV. Only around 50 per cent of people living with HIV are properly diagnosed with TB.

A rapid, true point-of-care urine-based TB test (Determine TB LAM Ag) can help. TB LAM can quickly diagnose TB in people with AIDS/advanced HIV disease, including those who cannot produce sputum. TB LAM was recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015 to aid in the diagnosis of TB in both adults and children living with HIV. However, scale-up of this lifesaving test is too slow and benefits too few people.

This technical brief analyses gaps in the diagnosis of TB for people living with HIV, describes the critical role TB LAM testing can play in saving lives, and provides recommendations for governments to implement and rapidly scale up access to testing.