My colleague has been diagnosed with TB or HIV, what should I do?

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Don’t panic. Remember that because of the high prevalence of TB in South Africa, many of us have already been exposed to the TB germ many times. It is estimated that around 60% of adults in the Western Cape have a latent TB infection; in other words they cannot transmit TB and are not sick, but already carry the TB germ in their bodies. If you are an adult who has had close contact with someone with TB, but do not have a compromised immune system and are not displaying any symptoms of TB, you do not need to have a TB test.

Remember that anyone who is has been on effective TB treatment for 2 weeks is no longer infectious.

Try to find out as much as you can about TB so that you have something factual and concrete to work with. Learn the symptoms of TB so that you know when someone should go for a TB test. Consult your clinic, family doctor or TB/HIV Care Association on 021 425 0050 if you are unsure of anything.

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