Risk & Prevention
Who gets pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP)?
PCP is extremely rare in healthy people. Most people who get PCP have weakened immune systems due to HIV/AIDS, cancer treatments, or organ transplants. Other groups of people who are at risk for PCP include:
- HIV-exposed but uninfected children
- People who are receiving immunosuppressive therapies, such as organ transplant patients
- People with connective tissue diseases or chronic lung diseases
How can I prevent pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP)?
There is no vaccine to prevent PCP. Some groups of people who are at high risk of developing PCP may need to take a medication called TMP-SMX to prevent the illness from occurring. If your doctor thinks you are at risk for developing PCP, he or she might prescribe this medicine for you. TMP-SMX prophylaxis is currently recommended for:
- All HIV-infected patients with CD4 < 350 cells / µL
- Infants born to HIV-infected mothers
- Children with a history of PCP
- Stem cell transplant patients