HIV and the Skin

Christopher B. Bunker, Vincent Piguet


Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been recognized, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) identified as the causative agent, for over 30 years. HIV infection is a significant health problem globally. Earlier diagnosis and initiation of antiretroviral treatment (ART) prevents death, serious sequelae and onward transmission. Mucocutaneous involvement may allow diagnosis at seroconversion or later in the course of the disease and dermatologists should have a very low threshold for considering the diagnosis and offering HIV testing routinely in many common presenting clinical scenarios. Combined ART has revolutionized treatment, and long‐term survival is the norm. However, there are significant dermatological consequences of HIV treatment including drug reactions/complications and immune reconstitution‐associated disease. Primary skin malignancies are the most frequent non‐AIDS‐defining cancers and oral, anal and genital (e.g. penile) cancers are significantly increased in the HIV‐treated population.
Keywords acquired immune deficiency syndrome, AIDS, human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, seronconversion, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, Kaposi sarcoma, cancer, combined antiretroviral treatment, cART, immune reconstitution associated disease, IRAD, vaccination


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