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Clin Infect Dis. 1997 May;24(5):965-70.

Acute human immunodeficiency virus type 1 disease as a mononucleosis-like illness: is the diagnosis too restrictive?

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Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal, and Département de Médecine Sociale et Préventive, Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

Erratum in

  • Clin Infect Dis 1997 Aug;25(2):352.


The purpose of this study was to describe the frequency and duration of clinical features at the time of acute human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) disease in 218 patients with documented symptomatic primary HIV-1 infection. The mean duration of acute HIV-1 disease was 25.1 days (median, 20.0 days) and did not differ by gender, age, and risk factor. The frequency and mean duration of clinical features occurring in >50% of patients were as follows: fever, 77.1% and 16.9 days; lethargy, 65.6% and 23.7 days; cutaneous rash, 56.4% and 15 days; myalgia, 54.6% and 17.7 days; and headache, 50.9% and 25.8 days. Only 15.6% of patients presented with a typical mononucleosis-like illness (MLI) defined as fever, pharyngitis or sore throat, and cervical adenopathy, and 10% had no features of an MLI. A meningitis-like syndrome occurred in 20 patients (9.2%). Acute HIV-1 disease is more diverse than previously reported, and the absence of fever or other MLI features does not rule out acute HIV-1 disease.

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