Feb 27, 2002
I know you wrote that psoriasis is not an opportunistic infection but I read that a new presentation of psoriasis can be a sign of HIV. Can you shed any light on this? Thanks so much for your help Dr. Feinberg.
Response from Dr. Feinberg
There are problems that are commonly seen in people with HIV, but that does not automatically make them opportunistic infections. Opportunistic infections are (1) really infections, which psoriasis is not-- it's a skin condition characterized by faster-than-usual growth of new skin cells, and (2) occur when there has been sufficient damage to the immune system, resulting in low CD4 cells. HIV- people can get psoriasis, so it's not related to low CD4 cells.
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