Effects of bacterial pneumonia no worse for HIV-positive patients


Pneumonia doesn't appear to harm HIV-positive patients any more than those without HIV, according to a new international study conducted in part by the University of Alberta.

In a two-year study that documented cases in 26 hospitals in 11 countries including the United States, Canada, South Africa, Chile and Spain, outcomes for 58 HIV-positive patients with CAP, or community-acquired pneumonia (pneumonia contracted outside of hospitals) were compared with outcomes for 174 HIV-negative patients suffering a similar severity of CAP. All the HIV-positive and negative patients were matched for age and gender. No differences were found in the length of hospitalization or in the time it took to clinically stabilize the patients. There was also negligible difference in the mortality rate; total deaths among the HIV patients was 3.5 per cent (two of 58 patients), and 4.8 per cent (seven of 174) among the HIV-negative patients.

Patients with Pneumocystis infection were excluded, as the study was designed to address those with bacterial infections.

Results of the study appeared recently in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The findings should benefit HIV-positive patients in two ways, Dr. Marrie said. "Patients with less severe pneumonia may be hospitalized less if physicians know that their HIV infection won't put them at any additional risk of complications." This study also emphasizes the benefits of treatment of HIV. Control of HIV infection improves the health of patients and they get infections such as bacterial pneumonia less frequently. "When they do get bacterial pneumonia, their immune systems are better able to respond to the infection."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.