Having HIV/AIDS weakens your body's immune system. It destroys the white blood cells that fight infection. This puts you at risk for opportunistic infections (OIs). OIs are serious infections that take advantage of your weak immune system. These infections are less common and less severe in healthy people.
There are many types of OIs:
- Bacterial infections, including tuberculosis and a serious related disease, Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC)
- Viral infections, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) and hepatitis C
- Fungal infections, like yeast infections, cryptococcal meningitis, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and histoplasmosis
- Parasitic infections, such as crypto (cryptosporidiosis) and toxo (toxoplasmosis)
Having HIV/AIDS can make infections harder to treat. People with HIV/AIDS are also more likely to have complications from common illnesses such as the flu.
You can help prevent infections by taking your HIV/AIDS medicines. Other things that can help include practicing safe sex, washing your hands well and often, and cooking your food thoroughly.
Prevention and Risk Factors
- HIV and Immunizations (AIDSinfo) Also in Spanish
- Older Adults and People with Cancer, Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Organ Transplants, and Autoimmune Diseases (Food and Drug Administration)
- HIV and Rheumatic Disease (American College of Rheumatology) Also in Spanish
- HIV/AIDS & STDs (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- HIV/AIDS and Fungal Infections (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- HIV/AIDS and Oral Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) Also in Spanish
- People with HIV & Influenza (Flu) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Pneumocystis Infections: MedlinePlus Health Topic (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Tuberculosis: The Connection between TB and HIV (the AIDS Virus) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Valley Fever (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- What to Know About HIV and COVID-19 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Hairy Leukoplakia (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)
Statistics and Research
- NIH Launches New Collaboration to Develop Gene-Based Cures for Sickle Cell Disease and HIV on Global Scale (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: A study for precision diagnosing and treatment strategies in difficult-to-treat AIDS...
- Article: Systematic or Test-Guided Treatment for Tuberculosis in HIV-Infected Adults.
- Article: Framework for the implementation of advanced HIV disease diagnostics in sub-Saharan...
- HIV/AIDS and Infections -- see more articles
- Glossary (National Institutes of Health, Office of AIDS Research)
- Cryptococcosis (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Molluscum contagiosum (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Toxoplasmosis (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish