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.
- HIV and Rheumatic Disease (American College of Rheumatology) Also in Spanish
- HIV and Viral Hepatitis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF
- HIV/AIDS and Fungal Infections (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- HIV/AIDS and the Flu (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- HIV/AIDS Coinfection (Hepatitis B Foundation)
- Mouth Problems and HIV (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) Also in Spanish
- Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) (New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center) Also in Spanish
- Pneumocystis Infections: MedlinePlus Health Topic (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Also in Spanish
- Role of STD Detection and Treatment in HIV Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 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
- Hairy Leukoplakia (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)
Statistics and Research
- HIV-Associated TB: Facts 2013 (World Health Organization) - PDF
- ClinicalTrials.gov: AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections (National Institutes of Health)