top menu

Get support

Early treatment means you feel better sooner. It also reduces the risk of any long-term damage to the body and helps stop the spread of TB.

The symptoms of TB can appear slowly and you may not have all of them. Always see a doctor if you are worried. And remember, TB is curable and treatment is free for everyone in the UK.

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious illness caused by the airborne bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB can cause serious health problems – particularly if it is not caught early. But the illness is curable, and testing and treatment are free and confidential in the UK, regardless of immigration status.

TB is rare in the UK and most people don’t need to worry about it, particularly if their health is generally good. Your greatest risk of catching TB is through spending a lot of time with people who have TB bacteria in their lungs or throat which they pass on by coughing or sneezing.

People who have TB or are concerned about TB often have lots of questions. If you have a general question about TB, look to see if it’s answered here. If not you can ask us directly using our questions form. Don’t worry – we would never publish your personal details.

Please be aware our advisors are not medically trained and cannot give medical advice, override the opinion of your doctor or comment on individual cases. But we are happy to provide general information about TB and TB-related issues in the UK.

  • Rights are entitlements, put in place to protect and empower people. In the UK, many of our rights are protected by law.
  • Rights are balanced with the responsibility to respect the rights of others, and to live within the boundaries of the law.

It may be a huge shock to find out you or a loved one has TB. You might not know anyone else who has the illness or what to expect.

This section of the website talks about latent TB. If you have latent TB, you have TB bacteria ‘asleep’ in your body that can ‘wake up’ and make you ill with active TB.

Many people are offered testing and treatment for latent TB, as this is a good way to help prevent getting active TB in the future. This section explains the differences between latent and active TB, why you may be tested for latent TB, what the test involves, and the treatment available for latent TB.

TB patient and nurse

Treatment for TB is long – at least six months – and often difficult. You have to take many tablets every day, and may suffer from unpleasant side effects. Perhaps you feel isolated or that no-one understands what you are going through. Or you may feel that you can’t talk about your TB, because of the stigma that all-too-often surrounds the illness.

Peer support

TB Alert’s HealthUnlocked online TB forum is a great place to talk to others about TB and also get information from TB Alert’s trained moderators.

Further reading

TB Alert’s series of nine patient information leaflets cover the most common questions that you may have about TB.

TB: your questions answered
Answers to common questions about TB for patients as they go through diagnosis and start on treatment.

TB and its diagnosis
An overview of TB and common TB tests for patients about to be tested for TB.

TB treatment
An overview of TB and standard TB treatment for newly diagnosed patients. Contains information and advice about side effects, treatment completion, DOT and others sources of support.

Latent TB treatment
Information about latent TB, latent TB treatment and its possible side effects, and a treatment diary for patients.

About your TB drugs
Comprehensive information about standard treatment for TB, including how to take medication and about side effects.

Multi-drug resistant TB
An overview of MDR-TB and comprehensive information about MDR-TB medications.

Contact tracing and screening
Information for people invited for TB testing through the contact tracing process.

An important test (TB-HIV)
Information about TB-HIV and HIV testing for eligible TB patients.

TB and the BCG
Information for patients about BCG eligibility, the vaccination process and how it relates to TB.


Verified by MonsterInsights