Let’s start at the beginning.

What is primary immunodeficiency (PI)?

PI is a term used to describe a group of disorders that cause the immune system to not work correctly, making it harder for your body to fight infections. There are a lot of types of PI—more than 400! And while they're all different, they all affect the immune system. Common types of PI include selective IgA deficiency, common variable immune deficiency (CVID), X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA), and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).

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What causes PI?

PI is usually genetic, which means there is a defect in one or more of your genes. This also means that PI can be inherited and can sometimes run in families. PI isn’t contagious, so you can’t catch it from someone like you would a cold or the flu.

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What are the symptoms of PI?

When you have PI, one of the most common symptoms is being more prone to infections. This may include more frequent infections, which may be difficult to cure, unusually severe, or caused by unusual germs. However, the symptoms can vary, and they can be mistaken for common infections.

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How do you know if you have PI?

Your doctor will do primary immunodeficiency testing. PI can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, because there are so many types of PI and each have their own symptoms. So, make sure to have honest, open conversations with your doctor(s) and don't be afraid to ask questions and talk about any symptoms you may be experiencing. The more you share, the better equipped your doctor will be to help figure out what's going on with your health.

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How is PI treated?

The most common way to treat PI is with immune globulin, or IG. IG is a term you’ll hear and read about often. IG contains antibodies you can think of as warriors, helping your body fight infections by replacing the antibodies that are missing from your immune system or not working properly. Antibodies are an important part of your immune system because they help your body fight infections. Some people with PI have trouble producing antibodies. For others with PI, their antibodies don’t work properly. So IG treatment, which is made up of antibodies donated by healthy people, is commonly used to treat PI.

Where do I go from here?

Good question. If you go to the next page, you can read what the difference between subQ infusion and IVIG infusion is to get better acquainted. Or, you can jump to Why HyQvia to learn more specifically about HyQvia. You can also talk to your doctor.

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