Purpose: To review the various rheumatologic manifestations of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and to discuss their potential pathogenic mechanisms.
Data identification: A literature search using MEDLINE (1981 to 88) and Index Medicus (1981 to 88) and review of references from all identified articles.
Study selection: All studies and case reports addressing arthritis, myopathies, vasculitis, the sicca syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, and autoimmune phenomena in HIV-infected patients are cited.
Results of data synthesis: The Reiter syndrome and other reactive arthritides are the commonest arthritides seen in HIV-infected patients. Psoriatic arthritis and septic arthritis with opportunistic agents, as well as an articular pain that is severe, acute, and intermittent, may also occur with HIV infection. An arthritis that may be specific for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been described. Myopathies, especially of a polymyositic type, vasculitis, and the sicca syndrome are also part of the spectrum of rheumatologic presentation of HIV infection. Several autoimmune phenomena, such as antinuclear and anticardiolipin antibodies, as well as lupus anticoagulant, have been reported in HIV-infected patients.
Conclusions: The Reiter syndrome, reactive arthritis, polymyositis, and the sicca syndrome may herald the onset of clinically evident HIV infection. These diseases and others may also occur in patients with full-blown AIDS. Furthermore, HIV infection may mimic systemic lupus erythematosus.