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Opportunistic Infections - Pneumonia

A Potentially Devastating Opportunistic Infection

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Updated August 18, 2007

Pneumocystis (Carinii) Jiroveci (PCP)

Pneumocystis (carinii) Jiroveci is a common organism that rarely causes problems in people with healthy immune systems. But in people living with HIV, it causes a dangerous opportunistic infection call pmeumocystis pneumonia or PCP. Most often it strikes it people whose CD4 counts are less than 200. For this reason, your doctor will begin antibiotics to help prevent PCP if your CD4 count drops below 200.

What is a CD4 Count - Why is it Important?

PCP Preventative Antibiotics

Bacterial Pneumonia

Many people, HIV positive and negative alike become infected with bacterial pneumonia. Even in people with strong immune systems bacterial pneumonia can be dangerous. In people with HIV, their weakened immune systems can mount little fight against the infection, meaning that bacterial pneumonia can be very serious, even deadly if not treated appropriately. Bacterial pneumonia develops over several days compared to PCP takes much longer. And unlike PCP, there is a vaccine available to decrease a collection of bacterial pneumonias called pneumococcus pneumonia.

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