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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2000 Aug 15;24(5):425-32.

Comparison of clinical features of acute HIV-1 infection in patients infected sexually or through injection drug use. The Investigators of the Québec Primary HIV Infection Study.

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McGill University Health Centre, McGill AIDS Centre, and McGill University, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Acute HIV-1 infection (AHI) may present with a clinical picture that represents a diagnostic challenge. We tested the hypothesis that two different routes of infection, that is, sexual versus parenteral, might be associated with a difference in the clinical features of AHI. A prospective cohort of seroconvertors was established in Montréal in private medical clinics and hospitals from February 1996 to May 1999. The prevalence of the symptomatic presentation was almost overlapping within the two groups of newly infected individuals 69% (42 of 61) for men having sex with men (MSM) and 69% (18 of 26) for injection drug users (IDUs; p =.98). Comparison of all types of symptoms and signs as well as their duration was also similar in both groups. Of particular interest, the site of lymph node enlargement was not different despite the estimated sites of intravenous inoculation. Oral and anal ulcers were more frequently observed in MSM than in IDUs (6 versus 0 and 4 versus 1, respectively). Neither the mean CD4+ count (514.8 and 414.7 cells/mm3; p =.14) nor the mean viral load (4.45 and 4.70 log copies/ml; p =.40) were different between the two groups at the time of the first study visit. Our study results clearly indicate that health care workers can expect similar clinical presentation of AHI in MSM and in IDUs despite the different routes of infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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