, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 206-214
Date: 06 Oct 2011

Preventing Death from HIV-Associated Cryptococcal Meningitis: The Way Forward

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Abstract

Cryptococcal meningitis (CM), a fungal disease caused by Cryptococcus species, is one of the most common opportunistic infections among persons with HIV/AIDS. The highest burden of disease is in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, where limited access to antiretroviral treatment and appropriate antifungal therapy contributes to high mortality rates. Increasing focus has been placed on earlier detection and prevention of disease. Primary prophylaxis and screening may provide a survival benefit and can be cost-effective in settings where CM prevalence is high. The development of a new point-of-care cryptococcal antigen assay has the potential to transform both disease prevention and diagnosis.