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Abstract: Aborigines have higher rates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis than the rest of the community. There are insufficient contemporary data to assess how much risk tuberculosis poses to the Aboriginal community. Tuberculosis is of particular concern because of its interaction with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We aimed to ascertain the available data about tuberculosis in Australian Aborigines: to determine morbidity and mortality of tuberculosis in Australian Aborigines, to ascertain the extent of known risk factors for tuberculosis in Australian Aborigines and to consider the public health implications of our findings. Sparse evidence suggests that Aborigines have higher rates of infection and of clinical tuberculosis than non-Aboriginal Australians, along with a high prevalence of known risk factors for tuberculosis. However, there is a paucity of data about specific risk factors and tuberculosis in Aborigines. In addition, Aborigines have a high prevalence of risk factors for HIV infection. The existence of concurrent risk factors for tuberculosis and HIV, in a population that already has a high rate of infection with tuberculosis is cause for grave concern. Tuberculosis control is centred on correct and rapid diagnosis and appropriate treatment, as well as efficient contact tracing. These are the most important strategies for control of tuberculosis among Aborigines, and are especially important when there is concurrence of other risk factors. Appropriate preventive therapy for infected people should also be considered.