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Study Examines Skin Disease Patterns Among HIV-Positive People

April 26, 2006

A study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology examines patterns of skin disease among HIV-positive people, Reuters Health reports. Pedro Queiroz Zancanaro of the Universidade de Brasilia and colleagues analyzed data from initial visits of 897 people with HIV to a dermatology clinic from 1996 to 2002 to examine HIV/AIDS-related skin diseases. More than two-thirds of the participants were black. Fifty-six percent of participants had contracted HIV through sexual contact and 43% through injection drug use. Sixty-one percent of the individuals started highly active antiretroviral therapy before visiting the dermatology clinic, Reuters Health reports. The study finds the most prevalent skin disease was folliculitis -- irritation of the skin follicles -- which affected 18% of the participants. Genital warts were recorded in 11.5% of participants, and seborrheic dermatitis, or inflammation from sebaceous secretions, was recorded in 10.6% of patients. The study also finds that 6.2% of the participants undergoing HAART were sensitive to light, compared with 2.9% who were not using the drugs. In addition, the viral skin condition molluscum contagiosum was more prevalent among HAART participants. "As the treatments for HIV continues to advance, it is likely that (skin) manifestations will also continue to evolve and further studies will be required to adequately assess their changing nature and prevalence," the researchers concluded (Reuters Health, 4/24).

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