, Volume 64, Issue 11, pp 1163–1180

Mucosal and Systemic Fungal Infections in Patients with AIDS

Prophylaxis and Treatment
Therapy in Practice

DOI: 10.2165/00003495-200464110-00002

Cite this article as:
Ruhnke, M. Drugs (2004) 64: 1163. doi:10.2165/00003495-200464110-00002


In countries where highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is widely available, a decrease in the incidence of fungal infections has been observed in the last 5 years compared with countries that cannot afford this treatment. Even refractory fungal infections may be controlled when HAART is given to patients, and end-stage AIDS infections, such as aspergillosis, are now only infrequently seen. In contrast, fungal infections in certain regions, such as penicilliosis in Southeast Asia or cryptococcosis in Sub-Saharan Africa, are a growing problem.

Antifungal therapy for documented infections has not changed very much during recent years; however, new drugs such as caspofungin and voriconazole may be more effective in the treatment of opportunistic fungal infections, in particular, those involving resistant organisms.

Secondary antifungal prophylaxis for many opportunistic pathogens can now be temporarily or even permanently discontinued in many HIV-positive patients who have a marked improvement in immune function parameters, such as CD4+ cell counts, after initiation of HAART. The link between effective virustatic control of HIV infection and a decreasing incidence of fungal infections has been recognised; and so, despite the availability of very effective new antifungal drugs, the cornerstone of treatment and prevention of opportunistic fungal infections in patients with HIV infection is effective antiretroviral therapy including protease inhibitors.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineCharité Campus MitteBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Klinik und Poliklinik mit Schwerpunkt Qnkologie/HämatologieCharité Campus Mitte der Humboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany