We conducted the first molecular study of tuberculosis (TB) to estimate the role of household contact and transmission from HIV-positive putative source contacts (PSCs) in a high HIV-prevalence area. TB patients in a long-term population-based study in Malawi were asked about past contact with TB. DNA fingerprinting was used to define clusters of cases with identical strains. Among 143 epidemiologically defined PSC-case pairs, fingerprinting confirmed transmission for 44% of household and family contacts and 18% of other contacts. Transmission was less likely to be confirmed if the PSC were HIV positive than if he or she were HIV negative (odds ratio 0.32, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.14-0.74). Overall, epidemiologic links were found for 11% of 754 fingerprint-clustered cases. We estimate that 9%-13% of TB cases were attributable to recent transmission from identifiable close contacts and that nearly half of the TB cases arising from recent infection had acquired the infection from HIV-positive patients.