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Pneumocystis Pneumonia and AIDS

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Pneumocystis is a fungus that can sometimes cause pneumonia in people who have AIDS.

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Pneumonia can make it hard to breathe and to get enough oxygen into the bloodstream. Symptoms often begin suddenly and may be similar to those of an upper respiratory infection, such as influenza or a cold. Common symptoms of pneumonia include:

Your doctor may suggest an HIV test if you have not been diagnosed with HIV and Pneumocystis pneumonia is:

If you get PCP, it can be treated. Antibiotics can get rid of the infection. You can also take care of yourself at home:

Have your blood tested regularly to check the strength of your immune system and to help your doctor decide if you need to take medicines to prevent this type of pneumonia. If you were diagnosed with HIV but are not being treated for it, start antiretroviral therapy (ART) to help strengthen your immune system and lower the risk of PCP returning.


Credits for Pneumocystis Pneumonia and AIDS

Current as of: July 1, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Peter Shalit MD, PhD - Internal Medicine


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