Written by Dr. Sangamithra, MBBS | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Aug 11, 2020

Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP)

Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP) is caused by fungus and can be prevented.

Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP or pneumocystis) is the most common opportunistic infection in people with HIV. Around 1980 there was a sudden increase in the disease ratio in both California and New York among young people with no underlying disease or history of immunosuppressive therapy. A detail search about the prevelance of this disease in the medical literature and various records and registries showed that this disease had a very low incidence rate in the United States. PCP is now almost entirely preventable and treatable. It is caused by a fungus which affects the lungs. People with CD4 cell counts under 200 have the highest risk of developing PCP. People with counts under 300 who have already had another opportunistic infection are also at risk.

"We recently treated several young, previously healthy, homosexual men for multiple episodes of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, extensive mucosal candidiasis, and severe viral infections. The clinical manifestations and studies of cellular immune function…indicated a…severe acquired T-cell defect….This syndrome represents a potentially transmissible immune deficiency." - Michael S. Gottlieb et al

Most people who get PCP become much weaker, lose a lot of weight, and are likely to get PCP again. The first signs of PCP are difficulty breathing, fever, and a dry cough. The drugs now used to treat PCP include TMP/SMX, dapsone, pentamidine, and atovaquone.


  1. Gottlieb MS, Schroff R, Schanker HM, et al. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and mucosal candidiasis in previously healthy homosexual men: evidence of a new acquired cellular immunodeficiency. N Engl J Med. 1981; 305:1425-31.
  2. AIDSinfo - (http://www.aidsinfo.nih.gov/)
  3. AIDS Wikipedia - (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS)


tkross Monday, December 21, 2009

hi..my name is dumark,i recently got a black and hard spot on my shoulder and i am scared it cld be KS,its been thr for abt 5 months now,i usually peel off the hard top skin atimes and the lower part bleeds after that...it startd as a very tiny black spot...i dnt knw wht to mk of this given to me by a friend who has been receiving treatments thr,says its real...

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