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HIV: WHAT TO DO WHEN-LUNG PROBLEMS

by admin - June 30th, 2011.
Filed under: HIV.

Most infections of the lung, or pneumonias, regardless of their cause, have the same symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, and fever. In some lung infections, the cough is productive—that is, the cough produces sputum; in other lung infections, the cough is dry. Cough and shortness of breath may be accompanied by chest pain. The person with HIV infection should watch out for these symptoms and should seek prompt medical attention for them. They can be symptoms of complications that almost invariably respond to antibiotics if given early enough.     Cough and shortness of breath are relatively common symptoms of other medical conditions as well. Causes of these symptoms include asthma, bronchitis, and chronic lung diseases like those brought on by long-term smoking. When these symptoms occur in someone who has not previously had lung problems, when they are more severe than usual, or when they are accompanied by fever, the cause could be pneumonia. People with HIV infection get different kinds of pneumonias, but the most important are Pneumocystis pneumonia, tuberculosis, and certain common bacterial pneumonias.     The standard diagnostic tests for these symptoms include a blood count, a chest x-ray, and culture of the sputum. Additional diagnostic tests will largely depend on the specific symptoms and on the results of the first set of tests.
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