Conclusion

Many studies have tried to identify prognostic markers for the survival of HIV infected patients admitted to the ICU, with relatively little consensus. The strongest single indicator seems to be the CD4 count. Identifying objective outcome predictors will help clinicians to decide when to pursue aggressive treatment and when to withhold or withdraw it. The mortality rate of HIV infected patients admitted to the ICU has improved and probably reflects improved outcome of HIV infection in general with the introduction of PCP prophylaxis, adjunctive corticosteroid use in the treatment of PCP; and HAART. For selected cases, ICU care of HIV infected individuals with respiratory failure secondary to pneumonia is associated with a positive outcome. HIV and intensive care physicians need to work in close collaboration to deliver optimal care.

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