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AIDS. 2007 Aug 20;21(13):1711-5.

Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia prophylaxis is not required with a CD4+ T-cell count < 200 cells/microl when viral replication is suppressed.

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Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



To determine the safety of discontinuing Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) prophylaxis, in patients on effective antiretroviral therapy with CD4+ T-cell counts that have plateaued at < 200 cells/microl.


We prospectively evaluated a cohort of HIV infected patients at a multidisciplinary HIV clinic with sustained HIV RNA levels < 50 copies/ml and CD4+ T-cell counts that have plateaued at < 200 cells/microl and who have discontinued PCP prophylaxis.


Nineteen patients fulfilled the above criteria. Eleven had been taking daily trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, seven were receiving monthly aerosolized pentamidine, and one patient never received any prophylaxis. The median CD4+ T-cell count at the time of discontinuation and at the most recent determination were 120 (range, 34-184) and 138 (range, 6-201) cells/microl, respectively. To date, patients have been off PCP prophylaxis for a mean of 13.7 +/- 10.6 months and a median of 9.0 (range 3-39) months for a total of 261 patient-months. To date, no patient has developed PCP. This is significantly different from the risk of developing PCP with a CD4+ T-cell count of < 200 cells/microl in untreated HIV infection (rate difference 9.2%; 95% confidence interval, 5.7 to 12.8%; P < 0.05).


With sustained suppression of viral replication, PCP prophylaxis may not be necessary, regardless of CD4+ T-cell count. This illustrates a degree of immune recovery that occurs with virologic suppression that is not reflected in absolute CD4+ T-cell count or percentage and suggests that guidelines for P. jiroveci pneumonia prophylaxis may need to be re-evaluated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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