Dr. M.J. Bazos,
Rheumatic Disease Syndromes
WHAT ARE HIV-ASSOCIATED RHEUMATIC DISEASE
disease syndromes are a group of inflammatory musculoskeletal complications seen
during the course of infection of the virus that causes AIDS. Painful joints are
usually the first and most common symptom. Other rheumatic disorders –
such as Reiter’s syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, polymyositis, vasculitis
and fibromyalgia – can also
cause of HIV-associated rheumatic disease syndromes is not clearly defined.
Available evidence suggests several direct and indirect causes from HIV
- HIV infection afflicts about one million people
in the United States.
- 30%-70% of HIV-infected individuals may develop a
rheumatic disease syndrome.
- The presence of a rheumatic disorder worsens the
prognosis of HIV infection.
rheumatic disease should be suspected in any individual at high risk for HIV
infection who develops painful joints or any other rheumatic disorder. The
diagnosis is confirmed by the appropriate tests for HIV infection and for the
patients respond to conventional therapy with a combination of pain relievers
and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Some patients, especially those
with Reiter’s syndrome and psoriatic arthritis, may not respond as well.
Immunosuppressive drugs may be beneficial. Appropriate physical therapy and
occupational rehabilitation are also
RHEUMATOLOGIST’S ROLE IN TREATING HIV-ASSOCIATED RHEUMATIC DISEASE
Rheumatologists in the
United States not only first recognized the rheumatic manifestations associated
with HIV infection, but have also been the leaders in improving the
understanding and treatment of HIV-associated rheumatic diseases. The arthritic
complaints which may affect HIV-infected individuals are best evaluated and
treated by a rheumatologist.