HomeAdvocacy ▶ Tuberculosis

Since the American Thoracic Society (ATS) was established as the American Sanatorium Association in 1905, the ATS has been the leading physician organization dedicated to the elimination of tuberculosis worldwide.

The key to breaking the chain of transmission and ending TB is to find and treat everyone in the community with TB.  This simple approach will not only benefit people who are found and treated, but also protects others from ever being infected with TB.


According to the World Health Organization’s “Global tuberculosis report 2023”[1]

  • A total of 1.3 million people died from TB in 2022 (including 167,000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is the second leading infectious killer after COVID-19 (above HIV and AIDS).
  • In 2022, an estimated 10.6 million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) worldwide, including 5.8 million men, 3.5 million women and 1.3 million children. TB is present in all countries and age groups. TB is curable and preventable.
  • Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. Only about 2 in 5 people with drug resistant TB accessed treatment in 2022.
  • Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 75 million lives since the year 2000.
  • US$ 13 billion is needed annually for TB prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care to achieve the global target agreed at the 2018 UN high level-meeting on TB.
  • Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2023, the 50 U.S. states and DC provisionally reported 9,615 TB cases, an increase of 1,295 cases (16%) compared with the 8,320 cases reported in 2022, an 8% increase compared with the 2019 pre-pandemic case count (8,895), and the highest number of cases reported since 2013 (9,556).[1] Overall, the U.S. TB rate increased by 15%, from 2.5 per 100,000 persons in 2022 to 2.9 in 2023.[2] Forty states and DC reported an increase in both case counts and rates compared with those in 2022. [3]


TB adversely affects groups that have historically experienced greater obstacles to health.[1]  The percentage of TB cases that occur in Hispanic or Latino, Black or African American, and Asian persons is higher than expected based on the percentage of these populations in the U.S. population.[1] In 2021, 88.1% of the TB cases reported in the United States occurred among racial and ethnic minority groups.[2] The percentage of TB cases occurring in non-U.S.–born persons was 71.4% of the national case total in 2021.[3]

In addition to contributing to TB control through research and clinical practice guidelines, the ATS actively advocates for U.S. and international funding to control TB around the world. 

Learn more about the ATS’s TB-related advocacy efforts:


[1] Global tuberculosis report 2023. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2023. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IG

[2] Williams PM, Pratt RH, Walker WL, Price SF, Stewart RJ, Feng PI. Tuberculosis — United States, 2023. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2024;73:265–270. DOI:

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Division of Tuberculosis Elimination, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention