CHESTPress ReleasesWorld AIDS Day 2023

Eradicating HIV will take collaborative action and a commitment to curb TB infections

The Forum of International Respiratory Societies highlights World AIDS Day

GLENVIEW, IL – This World AIDS Day, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), of which the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) is a founding member, calls on governments, health advocates and nongovernment organizations to strengthen their response to AIDS and tuberculosis (TB). This collaborative effort is necessary to help realize the World Health Organization’s (WHO) goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

In recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic diverted funds from TB infections worldwide and resulted in 1.3 million TB deaths in 2022. In limited-resource countries, TB is often the first sign a person has HIV, yet about half of the people living with HIV and TB are unaware of their coinfection and are not receiving appropriate care that could prevent serious illness and death. TB is the leading cause of death among those with HIV/AIDS worldwide, with 167,000 HIV-associated TB deaths in 2022.

Shortly after AIDS emerged, it fueled a global resurgence of TB that continues in many low- and middle-income countries. In 2022, the WHO reported that the largest number of new TB cases were in WHO’s Southeast Asia Region (46%), followed by the African Region (23%) and the Western Pacific Region (18%). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV infection is the greatest risk factor for progressing from latent to active TB.

HIV increases the risk of other infectious respiratory diseases, including Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia and bacterial pneumonia, both of which can be life threatening. There is also an increased risk of noninfectious lung complications.

Education, prevention strategies and new medicines, particularly antiretroviral therapies, have reduced the number of AIDS-related deaths by 69% since the peak in 2004.

Still, the WHO estimates that in 2022, an estimated 39 million people were living with AIDS, 1.5 million of them children.

FIRS believes a global response to HIV/AIDS can be strengthened by:

  • Increasing awareness of the continuing global threat of HIV-related disease and its link to TB and other respiratory diseases
  • Improving the health outcomes of people living with HIV through patient care and research into better prevention, early diagnosis and effective treatment strategies for both HIV and TB, including rapid diagnosis and treatment for multidrug-resistant TB that is harder to cure
  • Reducing the incidence and severity of HIV-related disease by strengthening mother-to-child transmission prevention programs and increasing the early use of antiretroviral therapy
  • Improving HIV education in at-risk communities to reduce the incidence of new HIV infections
  • Reducing HIV-related health disparities and inequities

About the American College of Chest Physicians
The American College of Chest Physicians® (CHEST) is the global leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases. Its mission is to champion advanced clinical practice, education, communication and research in chest medicine. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 22,000+ members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. For information about the American College of Chest Physicians, and its flagship journal CHEST®, visit

About the Forum of International Respiratory Societies
The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is an organization comprised of the world's leading international respiratory societies working together to improve lung health globally. The goal of FIRS is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members globally.

FIRS comprises the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Thoracic Society (ATS), the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), Asociación Latinoamericana de Tórax (ALAT), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS), the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).

The Global Impact of Respiratory Disease report outlines major causes of respiratory disease and lays out recommendations for global action.