Generalized papular pruritic eruption in African patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection

R Colebunders, JM Mann, H Francis, K Bila, I Lebughe, N Kakonde, AF Hood, TC Quinn, P Gigase, E Van Marck, G Vercauteren, JW Curran, P Piot

    Research output: Contribution to journalA2: International peer reviewed article (not A1-type)peer-review


    Of 284 patients hospitalized with HIV infection, 52 (18%) presented with a generalized pruritic papular eruption. No significant association between this eruption and other HIV manifestations or any opportunistic infection was found. Fifty-three of 61 (87%) consecutive African patients referred for a generalized papular pruritic eruption of unknown etiology of at least 1 month's duration were HIV seropositive, including 15 (65%) of 23 in good general condition. Thirty-seven (95%) of 38 patients with this eruption and severe weight loss (greater than 10% of normal body weight) were seropositive. The initial skin lesions were small, firm, intensely pruritic papules which released a small drop of clear fluid when scratched. Scratched papules became later hyperpigmented macules. Lesions were symmetrically distributed over the body and were most frequently found on the extensor surfaces of the arm, the dorsal surface of the hands, the inferior part of the legs, the ankles and the dorsum of the feet. Histologic examination showed a non-specific inflammatory reaction. Thirty-three (51%) patients reported that the skin eruption was their initial disease manifestation. In African patients, the presence of an unexplained generalized pruritic papular eruption is highly indicative of HIV infection
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)117-121
    Publication statusPublished - 1987


    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Viral diseases
    • AIDS
    • Pathology
    • Complications
    • Diagnosis
    • Skin diseases
    • Pruritus
    • Africa
    • Africa-Central
    • Congo-Kinshasa


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