While there are many types of immune conditions, Primary Immunodeficiency (PI) are rare, genetic defects in the immune system that a person is born with. There are over 350 different types of PI and about 250,000 people in the U.S alone who are affected by them. This means that a person has an immune system that doesn’t function properly or part of it is missing all together.
Currently, there is no cure for this group of diseases. The treatment comes in the form of life-long replacement therapy called IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) or SCIG (subcutaneous immunoglobulin), which a person receives every 3-4 weeks (IVIG) or possibly every week (SCIG).
Acquired or Secondary Immunodeficiency is something that person may get later in life (acquired), possibly due to a virus or other outside factors such as cancer treatments. Other types of medications can also destroy part of a persons immune system. Current treatment depends on the underlying disease state.
Autoimmune Diseases are when the body attacks it’s own tissue and cells (Auto=self) and can destroy it. This is sometimes caused by an overactive immune system and can effect any part of the body’s tissue and organs. Currently, there are about 90 different types of autoimmune diseases that have been identified. Autoimmune diseases affect around 23 million people in the U.S.