The "thrush", also called candidiasis, is a disease caused by a fungus (Candida albicans). Everyone has this fungus both under and inside their bodies. It can be found under the skin, in the stomach, in the colon and rectum, in the vagina, and in the mouth and throat. In most cases, the Candida albicans is harmless and even helps maintain bacterial levels in order. Sometimes, however, there is an overgrowth of this fungus that can lead to a number of problems.
Both HIV-positive and HIV-negative people can develop candidiasis. Many women suffer from fungal vaginal infections, a type of candidiasis. Similarly, a person may experience a growth of fungi in their mouth or behind their throat. Stress, a poor diet, or a little rest can contribute to these problems. A person who takes antibiotics for bacterial infections for a long period can also develop the thrush in their mouth or vagina. Candidiasis in the mouth (oral candidiasis) may also occur in people who inhaled steroids, such as those accustomed to treating asthma or other lung problems.
Poor oral hygiene and smoking can also contribute to an overgrowth of fungus in the mouth. Exaggerated consumption of alcohol and sugar has also been linked to the development of candidiasis.
In HIV-positive people, oral candidiasis and vaginal fungal infection can occur at any time, regardless of their CD4 cell count. The more the immune system becomes damaged, the more frequently oral candidiasis and vaginal fungal infection become recurrent. HIV-positive people with damaged immune systems, usually with CD4 cell counts below 200, are more likely to develop deeper candidiasis in their bodies, such as the esophagus or the lungs. As with many opportunistic infections, candidiasis will generally improve or recur less frequently if antiretroviral therapy significantly increases the CD4 cell count.
Translation Rodrigo S. Pellegrini
Note from the Editor of Seropositive web site: I searched a lot for a light photo of candidiasis and I did not find one that I had the courage to post here.
However, if you think yourself a strong spirit, please click here the link opens in another tab of your browser