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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Bug Bugaboo


POZ (08/99) 50, P. 66

Parasites pose a diagnostic problem, since many do not present symptoms but cause hidden damage. San Francisco AIDS specialist Jon Kaiser suggests that all people with HIV receive annual screening for parasites. Dr. Kaiser says that as many of 30 percent of his new patients test positive for parasites. When the B cells of the intestinal lining are depleted due to immunosuppression, the body becomes an ideal breeding ground for parasites. While protease inhibitors have generally decreased the rate of parasitic infections, reconstituted CD4 cells many not be able to adequately fight off parasites. Cryptosporidium and Microsporidium are two types of protozoa that can cause opportunistic infections and primarily affect people with low CD4 counts. Diagnosis of a parasitic infection includes knowledge of risky behavior, CD4 counts below 150, waxing and waning of stool consistency, and use of immunosuppressant drugs. Definitive diagnosis, however, requires analysis of a stool specimen. Flagyl is the primary drug used to treat parasitic infections; but because the drug can be toxic to the liver, some doctors are also using herbal remedies.


Copyright © 1999 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in July 26, 1999. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.