ObjectivesTo examine demographics, clinical correlates, sputum AFB (acid fast bacilli) smear grading DOTS (Directly Observed Therapy Short Course) uptake, and drug resistance in a cohort of newly-diagnosed, smear positive pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients with respect to HIV status at baseline, and compare smear conversion rates, side effects and mortality after two months.DesignA prospective study among 54 HIV positive and 41 HIV negative pulmonary TB patients. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews, review of medical records, and lab tests.ResultsHIVTB co-infected patients, though more symptomatic at baseline, showed more improvement in their symptoms compared to HIV-uninfected TB patients at follow-up. The HIV co-infected group had more prevalent perceived side effects, and sputum smear positivity was marginally higher compared to the HIV negative group at follow-up. Mortality was higher among the HIV-infected group. Both groups had high rates of resistance to first-line anti-tubercular drugs, particularly isoniazid. There was no significant difference in the drug resistance patterns between the groups.ConclusionsPrompt initiation and provision of daily regimens of ATT (Anti-Tubercular treatment) along with ART (Anti-Retroviral treatment) via ART centers is urgently needed in India. As resistance to ART and/or ATT is directly linked to medication non-adherence, the use of counseling, regular reinforcement, early detection and appropriate intervention strategies to tackle this complex issue could help prevent premature mortality and development of resistance in HIV-TB co-infected patients. The high rate of isoniazid resistance might preclude its use in India as prophylaxis for latent TB in HIV infected persons as per the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline.