Context: Although it has been known for over 15 years that a number of rheumatic diseases occur in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, increasing knowledge about these disorders and advances in HIV treatment need to be considered in approaching patients with HIV-associated rheumatic disease.
Objective: To examine the clinical, pathologic, and therapeutic features of HIV-associated rheumatic diseases in the context of what is known about the immunology of HIV infection.
Data sources: The author's own extensive collection of references, supplemented by PubMed Medline searches for articles in English-language journals published between 1985 and 2000. The indexing term HIV and the following coindexing terms were used for searching: arthritis, Reiter's syndrome, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteonecrosis, vasculitis, pulmonary hypertension, myositis, myopathy, fibromyalgia, septic arthritis, parotid enlargement, diffuse infiltrative lymphocytosis syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, septic arthritis, mycobacterial arthritis, fungal arthritis, autoantibodies, anti-cardiolipin antibodies, and anti-neutrophilic cytoplasmic antibodies.
Study selection: All papers identified in the literature search were reviewed. Studies presenting data that merely confirmed previous studies were not included in the analysis.
Data extraction: All identified papers were abstracted by the author. Letters to the editor were included only if a new observation had been made.
Data synthesis: This was a qualitative review of papers published, with new knowledge about these disorders summarized and presented.
Results: Despite new treatments for HIV, reports of rheumatic diseases presenting in AIDS patients persist, especially in HIV-associated arthritis, diffuse infiltrative lymphocytosis syndrome, HIV-associated vasculitis, and polymyositis. However, new HIV treatments may ameliorate these diseases.
Conclusions: The spectrum of HIV-associated rheumatic disease remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge for the clinician. The impact of changes in HIV treatment on these disorders requires further assessment.