Intensive Care of Patients With HIV Infection in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

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The use of combination antiretroviral treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has made AIDS a chronic controllable illness in many patients, and the incidence of opportunistic infections and the mortality have decreased considerably since early in the epidemic. The most common reason for ICU admission in patients with AIDS is respiratory failure, but they are less likely to be admitted for Pneumocystis pneumonia and other HIV-associated opportunistic infections. HIV-infected persons are more likely to receive ICU care for complications of end-stage liver disease and sepsis. Hepatitis C has emerged as a common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with HIV infection. In addition, some develop life-threatening complications from antiretroviral drug toxicity, and the immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome can lead to ICU admission.

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