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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 / ┬ÁL
  • Infants born to HIV-infected mothers
  • Children with a history of PCP
  • Stem cell transplant patients
 
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