Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP or pneumocystis) is the most common opportunistic infection in people with HIV. Without treatment, over 85% of people with HIV would eventually develop PCP. It has been the major killer of people with HIV. However, PCP is now almost entirely preventable and treatable.
- Symptoms of PCP include high fever, non-productive cough, shortness of breath (especially on exertion), weight loss and night sweats.
- There is usually not a large amount of sputum with PCP unless the patient has an additional bacterial infection.
- The fungus can invade other visceral organs, such as the liver, spleen and kidney, but only in a minority of cases.