What are opportunistic infections?
Opportunistic infections are called
this because they use the "opportunity"
that you have a weak immune system
to make you sick. When youre
HIV positive, an opportunistic infection
is a specific illness that can only
infect you when your immune system
If your CD4 count is low (200 or less),
that means your immune system is very
weak and it's very easy to get sick
from an opportunistic infection. But
even if your CD4 count is higher than
200, you can still get sick from one.
Examples of opportunistic infections:
- Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia
(PCP): a sickness of the lungs
that can make you cough, lose your
appetite, have breathing problems
and get fevers.
- oral hairy leukoplakia:
a viral infection that gives you
a hairy white coating on the inside
of your mouth and on the sides of
- thrush: a kind of yeast
infection that can be in the mouth
or around your penis or vagina