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Seriousness of Toxoplasmosis
Jan 24, 2002

Feeling quite educated about HIV/AIDS, I was surprised to learn more about the opportunistic infection of Toxoplasmosis. I have been reading up on this condition and found a statistic that 40 of AIDS patients have it. If it is so common, how is it such an illusive and seldom talked about condition? Following up to your response to my question on January 3rd regarding Toxo and Lymphoma...my friend did pass away. Unfortunately, it is now that I am learning so much about Toxo and not when I could have been looking for signs. He was only 35. A dancer. A human being that lost the battle with AIDS. Thank you for your response.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend-- please accept my sympathies.

Toxo can indeed be a devastating illness, but the 40% figure you quoted isn't accurate, at least for the U.S. The prarsite that causes toxoplasmosis is more common in warmer climates, and therefore is more common in the Caribbean than it is say, in Baltimore. It is also common i cultures that eat raw or undercooked meat (a dish like steak tartare, popular in parts of Europe), so toxo is more common in countries where such dishes are popular, like France and Switzerland.

Preventive (prophylactic) therapy for Pneumocystis also prevents toxo, so as more HIV+ people get into the healthcare system and recieve appropriate preventive therapy, toxo becomes even less common than it was in the pre-prophylaxis era.


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