Cryptococcosis is the most serious of the fungal infections in people diagnosed with AIDS. It is usually seen as cryptococcal meningitis (CM).

It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of AIDS patients will experience cryptococcal infection at some point during the course of the disease, often as the first opportunistic infection experienced.

Without treatment, cryptococcosis is always fatal. Current therapies can usually suppress cryptococcosis in patients if the initial weeks of acute symptoms are survived.

Cryptococcosis is caused by a yeast-like organism, Cryptococcus neoformans. This fungus is not geographically restriced, and is common in all environments, especially in soil containing bird excrement. Exposure occurs when contaminated sources become airborne and are inhaled.

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