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7 Common Opportunistic Infections in People with HIV/ AIDS

People living with HIV/ AIDS (PLWHA) are more vulnerable to various opportunistic infections because their immune systems are declining drastically.

The possibility of opportunistic infections experienced by people living with HIV are tuberculosis (TB), diarrhea, fungal infections, toxoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, CMV infection and viral hepatitis co-infection.

These opportunistic infections are usually linked to a number of CD4 in the body. If the number of CD4 is small, the infections that may arise tend to be more severe.

The value of CD4 indicates the immunity’s value as indicated by T cells in the blood. Generally, if the CD4 value below 200 cells/mm3, people with HIV would begin to suffer from opportunistic infections.

  1. Tuberculosis (TB)
    If the values of CD4 are higher than 200 cells/mm3, the symptoms that occur are similar as other tuberculosis, but if the CD4 values are less than 200 cells/mm3, the clinical picture and its radiology are not typical. As well as its treatment by ARVs and TB therapy also based on the number CD4.
  2. Cryptococcal Meningitis
    This condition is usually characterized by headache, decreased consciousness, CD4 values less than 100 cells/mm3 and the examination results showed positive cryptococcal antigen positive. Therapy given are amphotericin B and fluconazole high dose.
  3. Diarrhea
    In people with HIV/ AIDS are often found had chronic diarrhea caused by bacterial infection pathogens. In this condition rehydration therapy is very important and also stool examination for bacteria, fungi, parasites or viruses.
  4. Cytomegalovirus
    This condition is often found in PLWHA who have CD4 values less than 50 cells/mm3 and as result of virus reactivation that already exists in the body. These infections can affect the brain, retina, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract.
  5. HIV-related Cancers
    Cancer disease that might arise is a cancer of the lymph nodes, cervical cancer and Kaposi’s sarcoma.
  6. CMV Infection
    This condition is begins with a decreased visual acuity, then followed by as there are flashes of light, misty vision, impaired visual field, and if it progressively can cause blindness within 2 months without therapy. This usually occurs if the CD4 values less than 50 cells/mm3. Therefore it must be detected as soon as possible before it affect the retina or macula.
  7. Toxoplasma Chorioretinitis
    People who experience Toxoplasma chorioretinitis will have blurred vision symptoms. To diagnose it, you are needed a clinical findings and serology test.

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