Fungi are major contributors to the opportunistic infections that affect patients with HIV/AIDS. Systemic infections are mainly with Pneumocystis jirovecii (pneumocystosis), Cryptococcus neoformans (cryptococcosis), Histoplasma capsulatum (histoplasmosis), and Talaromyces (Penicillium) marneffei (talaromycosis). The incidence of systemic fungal infections has decreased in people with HIV in high-income countries because of the widespread availability of antiretroviral drugs and early testing for HIV. However, in many areas with high HIV prevalence, patients present to care with advanced HIV infection and with a low CD4 cell count or re-present with persistent low CD4 cell counts because of poor adherence, resistance to antiretroviral drugs, or both. Affordable, rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests (as have been developed for cryptococcosis) are urgently needed for pneumocystosis, talaromycosis, and histoplasmosis. Additionally, antifungal drugs, including amphotericin B, liposomal amphotericin B, and flucytosine, need to be much more widely available. Such measures, together with continued international efforts in education and training in the management of fungal disease, have the potential to improve patient outcomes substantially.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases