Co-trimoxazole prophylaxis in HIV : the evidence

Oliphant, C. E. M. ; Young, T. ; Araoyinbo, I. ; Volmink, J. (2008-04)



Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) damages the body’s immune system, making secondary (or opportunistic) infections more common. Treatment and prevention of such infections is integral to the management of patients with HIV infection. Co-trimoxazole is a prophylactic treatment that has a wide range of action against common bacteria, parasites, fungi and yeasts. As part of a minimum care package, UNAIDS/ WHO recommends co-trimoxazole prophylaxis for HIVinfected adults with symptomatic disease (WHO stage II, III or IV), or asymptomatic individuals with CD4 counts ≤500 cells/μl, and for all HIV-positive pregnant women after the first trimester.1 Co-trimoxazole is also recommended for use in children with proven HIV infection and infants exposed to HIV (from 4 - 6 weeks of age until infection with HIV is ruled out).2 The object of this report is to summarise the effects of co-trimoxazole prophylaxis on morbidity and mortality among HIV-infected individuals.

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