BACKGROUND Despite implementation of different strategies, the burden and mortality of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated tuberculosis (TB) remains a challenge in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of HIV status on treatment outcome of tuberculosis patients registered at Arsi Negele Health Center, Southern Ethiopia. METHODS A six-year retrospective data (from September 2008 to August 2014) of tuberculosis patients (n = 1649) registered at the directly observed therapy short-course (DOTS) clinic of Arsi Negele Health Center was reviewed. Treatment outcome and tuberculosis type were categorized according to the national tuberculosis control program guideline. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to examine the effect of HIV status separately on default/failure and death in relation to those who were successfully treated. Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were used to check the presence and strength of association between TB treatment outcome and HIV status and other independent variables. RESULTS Out of the 1649 TB patients, 94.7% (1562) have been tested for HIV of whom 156(10%) were HIV co-infected. The mean (standard deviation) age of the patients was 28.5(15.5) years. The majority were new TB cases (96.7%), male (53.7%), urban (54.7%), and had smear negative pulmonary TB (44.1%). Overall, the treatment success rate of TB patients with or without HIV was 87.3%. Using cure/completion as reference, patients without known HIV status had significantly higher odds of default /failure [aOR, 4.26; 95%CI, 1.684-10.775] and transfer-out [aOR, 2.92; 95%CI, 1.545-5.521] whereas those who tested positive for HIV had a significantly higher odds of death [aOR, 6.72; 95%CI, 3.704-12.202] and transfer-out [aOR, 2.02; 95%CI, 1.111-3.680]. CONCLUSION Overall, treatment outcome and HIV testing coverage for TB patients is promising to reach the WHO target in the study area. However, default/failure among patients without known HIV status, and higher rate of mortality among HIV positive TB patients and transfer-out cases deserves concern. Therefore further prospective studies on quality of services, socioeconomics and psychology of this group should be conducted.