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Parasitic Opportunistic Infections

Opportunistic Infections that are Caused By Parasites

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Updated October 27, 2008

Toxoplasmosis
About 50% of the US population has been infected with toxoplasmosis gondii sometime in their lifetime. In people with a strong, normal functioning immune system, toxoplasmosis causes no symptoms. But in the HIV infected patient whose immune system has been weakened by the virus, the parasite it causes a condition known as Toxoplasmosis. The primary route of infection is eating undercooked meat. Therefore it's imperative that people living with HIV make certain meat products are cooked thoroughly before eating.

Symptoms - A persistent, dull headache, subtle changes in mental status, fever, seizure, or stroke-like syndromes.

Cryptosporidiosis
A highly infectious intestinal parasite found most commonly among farm and domesticated animals. It is transmitted through contaminated food and water.

Symptoms - Usually develops gradually with varying degrees of severity. Symptoms include watery diarrhea lasting for months, weight loss, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and headache.

Isosporiasis
This organism is most often found in contaminated food and water, especially in Latin America and other developing countries.

Symptoms - Chronic watery diarrhea.

More Information on Common Opportunistic Infections

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