Opportunistic and Coinfections

Opportunistic infections
Damage to the immune system from HIV can result in the development of opportunistic infections (OIs), infections common to HIV/AIDS that occur when the body's immune system is weakened. Symptoms vary and may include such different signs as cold sores and extreme weight loss.

Common OIs include:

  • Fungal infections: PCP, candidiasis, cryptococcosis
  • Bacterial infections: pneumonias, tuberculosis
  • Viral infections: herpes
  • Parasitic infections: toxoplasmosis
  • HIV-related infections: Kaposi's sarcoma, lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma


Many HIV-positive people are also infected with other diseases called coinfections. Patients who are HIV-positive are commonly co-infected with HCV due to shared routes of transmission: percutaneous exposure to blood, sexual intercourse, and from a mother to her infant. Infection with HCV can be asymptomatic, self-limiting, or progress to cirrhosis or cancer.
For more information about hepatitis and HIV coinfections, please follow this link.