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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Disseminated herpes simplex infection in a HIV+ patient  


Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2009 April;144(2):205-9

language: English

Disseminated herpes simplex infection in a HIV+ patient

Dinotta F., De Pasquale R., Nasca M. R., Tedeschi A., Micali G.

Dermatological Clinic, University of Catania Polyclinic Hospital University, Catania, Italy


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Genital herpes, a viral infection caused by Herpes simplex virus (HSV), is the most common cause of genital ulceration. Patients with a severe decrease in cellular immunity, such as patients positive for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, are more likely to develop atypical, severe, disseminated and/or chronic HSV infections. On the other hand, there is an increase incidence of HIV detection among patients positive for HSV infection, as genital ulcers represent a potential portal of entry of HIV into the host. A case of a 52-year-old homosexual man with a two-month history of multiple erythematous ulcerative lesions on the perianal area, the buttocks, and the third left finger is presented. According to the clinical history, the clinical findings and the laboratory results, a diagnosis of HSV infection was made and treatment with valaciclovir was started, which led to complete regression of lesions 30 days later. The atypical features of the herpetic lesions, along with a past history of atypical pneumonitis one year prior to our observation, prompted to a diagnosis of concurrent HIV infection, later confirmed by laboratory results. Atypical and disseminated HSV infections occur relatively often in HIV+ patients. This article discusses clinical presentation, diagnosis and management of HSV infection in such cases.

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