Acute HIV-1 infection presenting with fulminant encephalopathy

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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 directly affects the nervous system, causes distinct neurological symptoms, and indirectly results in opportunistic infections, which include herpes virus simplex (HSV)-1, HSV-2, varicella zoster virus, and cytomegalovirus encephalitis caused by immunodeficiency. Early HIV-1 invasion of the central nervous system is also possible, and acute encephalopathy is a potentially lethal complication. We encountered a case of fulminant encephalopathy as a primary presentation of acute HIV-1 infection, in which highly active antiretroviral treatment resulted in a full clinical recovery. This case highlights the importance of considering acute HIV-1 infection in the differential diagnosis of reversible encephalopathy.

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