Early Symptoms Of AIDS Toxoplasmosis

AIDS: Opportunistic Infections


Toxoplasmosis (toxo) is a parasitic infection that is caused by a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii.

Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most common parasites, found all over the world. Individuals may be exposed to the parasite

in soil, cat feces, or in raw or undercooked meat (especially lamb, pork, or venison). There have also been rare reports of toxoplasmosis infection as a result of organ transplantation or blood transfusion.

It is estimated that more than 60 million Americans carry the parasite. However, 80-90% of infected patients are carriers (experience no symptoms) because the body’s immune system prevents the parasite from causing illness.

Toxoplasmosis is considered an AIDS-defining illness, according to the CDC.

HIV patients often experience symptoms such as:

  1. headache
  2. confusion
  3. poor coordination
  4. seizures
  5. ocular toxoplasmosis (severe inflammation of the retina)
  6. lung problems that are similar to tuberculosis or pneumocystis pneumonia.