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Respiratory infection complicating HIV infection

Davis, J Luciana,b; Fei, Matthewa,b; Huang, Laurencea,b

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases: April 2008 - Volume 21 - Issue 2 - p 184–190
doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e3282f54fff
Respiratory infections: Edited by Michael S. Niederman

Purpose of review Respiratory infections remain a major cause of morbidity among HIV-infected persons. Thus, knowledge of recent advances regarding HIV-associated opportunistic pneumonias is crucial for optimal care of HIV-infected persons.

Recent findings Bacterial pneumonia is the most common HIV-associated opportunistic pneumonia in the USA and its incidence remains appreciable. Worldwide, tuberculosis dominates the clinical picture. The absence of rapid, affordable diagnostics for active and latent tuberculosis remains a major obstacle that must be overcome if the global epidemic is to be slowed. The specter of extensively drug resistant tuberculosis and its overlap with HIV infection highlight the importance of rapid diagnostics and the need for accessible drug susceptibility testing. Pneumocystis (carinii) jirovecii pneumonia appears to be a more common pneumonia among HIV-infected persons residing in developing countries than was previously appreciated. Similar to tuberculosis, the absence of available diagnostics in developing areas is a major obstacle to clinical care and epidemiologic studies. The critical care of HIV-infected persons is challenging.

Summary Although tremendous advances have been made in our understanding of the management, treatment, and prevention of HIV and its associated respiratory infections, significant gaps remain. Thus, continued epidemiologic, clinical, and bench research is needed.

aDivision of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, USA

bHIV/AIDS Division, San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA

Correspondence to J. Lucian Davis, MD, HIV/AIDS Division, San Francisco General Hospital, Ward 84, 995 Potrero Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA Tel: +1 415 206 6466; fax: +1 415 476 6953; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.