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Int J STD AIDS. 2002 Feb;13(2):71-8.

Primary HIV infection.

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Whittall Street Clinic, Whittall Street, Birmingham B4 6DH, UK.


Primary HIV can be asymptomatic or result in a severe symptomatic illness. Common symptoms are pyrexia, pharyngitis, malaise, lethargy, maculopapular rash, mucous membrane ulceration, lymphadenopathy and headache. It can be reliably diagnosed by a positive virologic test in the absence of HIV-specific antibodies. Progression to late-stage disease is influenced by the severity of the symptoms in primary HIV infection, the duration of the illness, the presence of neurological symptoms and the presence of oral candidiasis. This stage is characterized by a very high viral load and infectiousness. Currently the experimental data are insufficient to recommend whether or not those diagnosed with primary HIV infection should routinely receive antiretroviral therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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