HIV infection and its effects on the development of autoimmune disorders

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Graphical abstractHIV and autoimmune disorders. ReA reactive arthritis, PsA psoriatic arthritis, RA rheumatoid arthritis, SLE systemic lupus erythematosus, DILS diffuse infiltrative lymphocytosis syndrome, PAN periarteritis nodosa.More than 35 years have elapsed since the initial outbreak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the status of a considerable number of patients has changed from a fatal disorder to a chronic one where comorbidities including sarcoidosis and autoimmune diseases have become relevant and dominant. HIV targets the immune system leading to a state of immunodeficiency in a setting of immune activation in which CD4+ T cell depletion plays a critical role. The onset, natural history and course of HIV-associated autoimmune disease has dramatically changed according to the stage of HIV infection and since the introduction of combined anti-retroviral therapy. There are some issues that need further study regarding therapy, especially when immunosuppressive drugs and biologic agents are under consideration. Currently, biologic agents and others immunosuppressive agents are recommended when patients have CD4+ T cell counts above 200 cells/mm3 and the HIV viral activity is completely suppressed.

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