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Pneumocystis carinii (jirovecii) pneumonia (PCP): the most common opportunistic infection observed in HIV/AIDS cases at the University Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


This retrospective study was conducted among 59 HIV/AIDS patients with opportunistic infections admitted to the University Malaya Medical Centre between 2000 and 2009. Fifty-five point nine percent of cases were Chinese, 25.4% were Malays, 11.9% were Indians and 6.8% were of unknown ethnic origin. The male:female ratio was 2.9:1 (44 males and 15 females). The highest prevalence (38.9%) occurred in the 30-39 year old age group. Men comprised 47.7% and women 53.3%; the majority of both were married. The majority of cases were Malaysians (89.8%) and the rest (10.2%) were immigrants. Most of the patients (18.6%) were non-laborers, followed by laborers (11.9%), the unemployed (5.1%) and housewives (3.4%). The most common risk factor was unprotected sexual activity (20.3%). The two most common HIV/AIDS related opportunistic infections were Pneumocystis carinii (jirovecii) pneumonia (PCP) (62.7%) and toxoplasmosis (28.8%). Seventy-two point nine percent of patients had a CD4 count <200 cells/microl and 5.1% had a CD4 count >500 cells/microl. Eleven point nine percent of cases died during study period. A low CD4 count had a greater association with opportunistic infections. Most of the patients presented with fever (44.1%), cough (42.4%) and shortness of breath (28.8%). Detection of the etiologic pathogens aids clinicians in choosing appropriate management strategies.

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