The Link between HIV and Pneumocystis

link between HIV and pneumocystis

There are many diseases out there that lower the immune system of those affected. HIV is one example of that. When a person’s immune system is lowered, it opens them up to getting all kinds of further illnesses. These could have deadly consequences. With this in mind, research is beginning to examine the link between HIV and pneumocystis.

What Is Pneumocystis?

Pneumocystis is an infection caused by the Pneumocystis jirovecii fungus, and is considered a secondary illness. That means it comes as a result of other illnesses. Generally, because of the damage that the first illness has already done to the body, they cannot fight off other infections.

In its most basic form, pneumocystis is fungal pneumonia. It carries with it the usual symptoms of chest issues, coughing, fevers and muscle aches.

How Is It Linked to HIV?

There are certain groups of people who are more susceptible to this disease. They include recent organ or stem cell transplant recipients, blood cancer patients, and HIV/AIDS carriers. All those scenarios have a common component. They all weaken a person’s immune system, making them the perfect breeding ground for pathogens such as this.

The illness that is most talked about alongside it though, is HIV. Most of what is known about pneumocystis has come from studying people who are affected by both diseases. This is the link between HIV and pneumocystis. Scientists believe that HIV virus makes their bodies more open to being colonized by the pneumocystis pathogen. This means they are more likely to get it.

In Conclusion

With as many as 40% of people living with HIV being affected by pneumocystis, the link between HIV and pneumocystis is undeniable. Awareness of this link, however, is key in early detection of pneumocystis. Through early detection, there is the possibility that its effects may not be as devastating on the human body.