How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Brims Your Own Question
Dr. Brims
Dr. Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 9605
Experience:  U.S. Licensed Physician, general surgery and internal medicine experience
14307416
Type Your Health Question Here...
Dr. Brims is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My brother is HIV+ and is in the hospital after a suicide attempt

This answer was rated:

My brother is HIV+ and is in the hospital after a suicide attempt put him in a coma. Recovering from that, but acquired hospital pneumonia which has been getting progressively worse. They thought his CD4 count was around 48, but turned out to be somewhat higher. He is on vancomycin, Zosyn, and one other antibiotic to not only treat the pneumonia but to prevent opportunistic infections as well. My question is, if he is on these very powerful antibiotics (3-4 days now), why exactly is his pneumonia getting worse, and not better? They say the chest x-rays that they do daily have either stayed the same or as of the past day, gotten slightly worse. Why is that and why aren't the antibiotics working?

Dr Brims :

Hello, welcome to the site! I will try to assist you with your medical question, and any medical information you seek

Dr Brims :

I'm sorry to hear about this

Dr Brims :

Your brothers CD4 count may be too low, and if that is the case, the antibiotics will not work as well

Dr Brims :

It may also be possible that he has a fungal infection causing pneumonia, rather than bacteria

Dr Brims :

If that is the case, then the antibiotics will not work, he will need an antifungal drug to treat him

Customer:

ok, they did a blood culture that will come back in another couple of days

Customer:

so i guess everything depends on that?

Dr Brims :

Yes, everything depends on the culture results

Customer:

ok, because it is really frustrating that he is being treated with such powerful antibiotics and not getting better, but worse. can a fungus cause pneumonia?

Dr Brims :

Yes, fungal infections can cause pneumonia

Customer:

interesting, didn't know that. ok, thanks for your help again

Customer:

i'll be in touch

Dr Brims :

You're very welcome

Dr. Brims and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Health Questions