Skin diseases and sexually transmitted diseases in HIV-infected patients on HAART compared to a non-infected population - results of a retrospective study

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Abstract

Background:

The prevalence of skin diseases and sexually transmitted diseases has always played a special role in studying HIV infections, both because of immunosuppression and simultaneous transmission. In the early years of the HIV epidemic, skin diseases were often a pathognomonic sign in heavily immunosuppressed patients. With highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIV infection has become a treatable chronic disease. For this reason the spectrum as well as the prevalence of skin diseases has changed. Pathognomonic skin diseases have become rare and the wide spectrum today ranges from infectious to iatrogenic skin diseases.

Patients and methods:

From April to October 2007 166 HIV-infected patients and 173 patients of a comparison group were surveyed in retrospect by means of a questionnaire about skin diseases and sexually transmitted diseases that appeared over the entire year 2006.

Results and conclusions:

The study confirmed the shift to a wide variety of mostly trivial skin diseases and away from severe opportunistic skin diseases. HIV-infected patients today have more numerous skin problems than the non-infected population and thus need regular dermatologic control examinations.

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