|opportunistic infection and care givers
Jan 3, 2002
What is the probability of an HIV person becoming a carrier of opportunistic infections such as pneumonia, thrush,and Epstein-Barr? There are two small children, under two years of age, who have been ill with ear infections, sinus infections,pneumonia, Epstein-Barr, and thrush and are not HIV. They are in regular contact with a member of the family who is. Is there a possible connection?
Response from Dr. Feinberg
Opportunistic infections occur because the person's damaged immune system cannot cope with various germs that are usually not harmful to others who are healthy. Therefore, an HIV+ person cannot "give" opportunistic infections to others. Babies and toddlers have immature immune systems, which is why they can be vulnerable to some of the same linds of problems, like thrush. It's an immune system problem, not a problem of contagiousness.
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