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Opportunistic Infections, Complications of AIDS/HIV,
Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP)

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A Guide to Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP), When should I start treatment to prevent PCP? About.com:"You should have your blood tested regularly to check the strength of your immune system. Your doctor should prescribe TMP-SMX to prevent PCP if your CD4 cell count falls below 200. Your doctor may also put you on TMP-SMX if you show certain symptoms, such as having a temperature above 100°F that lasts for 2 weeks or longer, or if you get a fungal infection in the mouth or throat (commonly called “thrush”). Having thrush is believed to raise your risk for getting PCP."


Pneumocystis carinii Pneumonia (PCP), What is it? AIDSMeds.com:"Pneumocystis pneumonia, or PCP, is a life-threatening lung disease caused by an organism called Pneumocystis jiroveci (up until recently, the organism Pneumocystis carinii was believed to be the causes of PCP in humans). This organism can also infect and cause disease in other organs, including the skin (extrapulmonary Pneumocystis infection)."
135 Eastern Pkwy., #13G
Brooklyn, NY 11238-6025


Preventing PCP, AIDS Treatment Data Network:"PCP stands for pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. This serious infection mainly affects the lungs, but it can also affect other organs, including the skin. Without preventive medication, over 80% of people with HIV will likely get PCP. Early signs of PCP are trouble breathing, having a fever, and dry coughing. PCP can usually be treated with one of several different medications, including TMP/SMX (trade name Bactrim or Septra), pentamidine, trimetrexate and atovaquone (trade name Mepron). However, it's much better to avoid getting PCP in the first place. Studies have shown that PCP can be prevented. People with under 200 T4 cells are most at risk to get PCP, but other HIV+ people can get it as well. Anyone who is HIV+ should talk to their doctor about preventing PCP."
611 Broadway, Suite 613
New York, New York, 10012
Tel: 212-260-8868 / 800-734-7104 (NYS only) Fax: 212-260-8869


Pneumocystis carinii Pneumonia (PCP) and HIV, What is PCP? American Academy of Family Physicians:"PCP is a kind of pneumonia caused by Pneumocystis carinii (p. carinii). (Say the name this way: "new-mo-sis-tis ca-rin-nee-eye.") Most people infected withp.carinii don't get pneumonia because their immune systems are healthy and strong. People whose immune systems are weak because of HIV infection can get PCP. PCP is less common than it used to be, but it's still the most common serious infection in people with advanced HIV disease in the United States."
Mailing address:
Director of Online & Custom Publishing
American Academy of Family Physicians
11400 Tomahawk Creek Parkway
Leawood, KS 66211-2672
E-mail address: email@familydoctor.org


Pneumocystis carinii Pneumonia, Division of Parasitic Diseases:"Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Update on Kaposi's Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections in Previously Healthy Persons -- United States."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd,
Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A
Tel: (404) 639-3311 / Public Inquiries: (404) 639-3534 / (800) 311-3435


Exams and Tests, Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia, Drugs.com:"X-ray of the chest may reveal abnormal lung findings -- yet up to 10% of individuals with PCP in the setting of AIDS may have a normal chest x-ray sputum induction: for special stains to detect Pneumocystis carinii bronchoscopy (with lavage) -- if sputum induction is negative lung biopsy may rarely be needed if the above studies fail to yield a diagnosis blood gases which may show decreased oxygen level in blood and helps in determining whether an individual might benefit from corticosteroids."


Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia, Pathophysiology, Emedicine.com:"P carinii is a ubiquitous unicellular eukaryote. An ongoing debate exists regarding the taxonomy of P carinii as a protozoan or fungus. Because the organism has not yet been cultured in vitro, all pathophysiologic hypotheses are based on animal models. The hypothesized mechanism of transmission is via inhalation of air-borne cysts that subsequently colonize the respiratory tract. Most US residents show evidence of seroconversion by age 3 years, but only immunocompromised hosts show evidence of clinical disease. In these hosts, the organism adheres via fibronectin and glycoproteins to the type-I pneumocyte after inhalation. The cyst form subsequently ruptures, and multiple trophozoites are released and form a foamy exudate in the alveoli."


Pneumocystis Carinii Infections, Medline Plus:"Contents of this page: Overviews Treatment Prevention/Screening Disease Management Specific Conditions Clinical Trials Organizations Children."
U.S. National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894


Who is at risk of getting PCP? Project Inform:"The greatest risk for developing PCP occurs when the CD4+ cell count is below 200 or the CD4+ cell percentage falls below 14. Most cases, especially those where PCP “breaks through” preventive therapy, occur when the CD4+ cell count is below 100. However, people experiencing fungal infections (such as thrush/yeast infections), recurrent fevers and people who have had their spleen removed are at increased risk of PCP regardless of their CD4+ cell count (such as above 200). Also, all women can experience drops in CD4+ cell counts during the third trimester (months 7–9) of pregnancy. So, HIV-positive pregnant women may sometimes need medication to prevent PCP during this period."
Project Inform
205 13th Street, Suite 2001
San Francisco, CA 94103-2461
hotline 800-822-7422 admin 415-558-8669 fax 415-558-0684


Pneumocystis carinii Pneumonia (PCP), Thebody.com:"The Basics | Treatment | News | Research | Archive."
Body Health Resources Corporation
250 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10107



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