Rheumatic diseases and AIDS--is the association real?

J Rheumatol. 1993 Apr;20(4):678-83.


There have been many reports of an association of certain musculoskeletal disorders especially Reiter's syndrome and psoriatic arthritis with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. A review of the first 1,100 HIV positive patients at the University of Cincinnati AIDS Clinic and Treatment Center has revealed 9 with psoriasis of whom 4 developed arthritis, 1 with Reiter's syndrome which predated HIV infection, 9 with nonspecific arthralgias, 7 with diffuse myalgias of whom 5 were AZT and one alpha-interferon related. Three patients with temporal arteritis/polymyalgia rheumatica, 2 of whom are biopsy proven, have been observed. The frequency distribution for race, age, sex for this population was contrasted to that expected. The only increased frequencies were in psoriatic arthritis with 4 cases observed and 0.73 expected and in temporal arteritis/polymyalgia rheumatica with 3 cases observed and 0.3 expected. Whether there is a coincidental or real increase is an important question requiring prospective, epidemiological studies to help determine if the differences reported are demographic or genetic.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / complications*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Adult
  • Azathioprine / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Pain / chemically induced
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rheumatic Diseases / complications*
  • Rheumatic Diseases / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Azathioprine