UK researchers have found that rates of pneumococcal disease are approximately 20 times higher in people with HIV compared to the general population.

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Pneumococcal disease is caused by a bacterium and can cause pneumonia as well as meningitis. Before HIV treatment became available, the infection was an important cause of illness and death in people with HIV. The infection can be successfully treated with antibiotics. For people with hIV, getting onto HAART is also an important step. However, the researchers found that even in people taking antiretroviral therapy and with a good, high  CD4 cell count (above 500), the rate of pneumococcal disease was seven times higher than that seen in HIV-negative people.

Vaccines against pneumococcal disease have been developed, and this

should be something that is considered for people living with HIV.

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