While clinical environments are highly focused on COVID-19, reports of missed or delayed treatment for conditions that imitate COVID-19, such as pneumonia caused by the fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii, are emerging. Given the uncertain spectrum of COVID-19 presentations and variable sensitivity of laboratory tests for SARS-CoV-2, there is a risk that, without a high index of suspicion, alternative aetiologies may be overlooked while pursuing a diagnosis of COVID-19. The British HIV Association has been calling for the inclusion of HIV testing in all patients admitted to hospital with suspected COVID-19. In this article we reflect on the importance of including HIV testing to prevent avoidable morbidity and mortality in our patients.


Copyright © 2020 Royal College of Physicians. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online on the source repository in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the final published version of the work, which was originally published at https://doi.org/10.7861/clinmed.2020-0565.

Cite as

Kelly, S., Waters, L., Cevik, M., Collins, S., Lewis, J., Wu, M., Blanchard, T. & Geretti, A. 2020, 'Pneumocystis pneumonia, a COVID-19 mimic, reminds us of the importance of HIV testing in COVID-19', Clinical Medicine, 20(6), pp. 590-592. https://doi.org/10.7861/clinmed.2020-0565

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 01 July 2022
Was this page helpful?