Photosensitivity as the Presenting Feature of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
Photosensitivity is characterized by an abnormal response to non-ionizing radiation, disclosing a variety of morphological patterns, which reflect their different etiologies. We describe the case of a man presenting with a photosensitive dermatosis with no apparent exogenous cause and refractory to multiple treatments. Phototests revealed a reduction in minimal erythema dose to UVB. Laboratory tests in order to start azathioprine, showed a positive test for HIV and a diagnosis of AIDS (high viral load and low TCD4+ cells). A few months after starting antiretroviral therapy photosensitivity resolved completely. Photosensitivity affects up to 5% of HIV-positive patients, mostly due to drug photosensitivity, but it has also been reported as the presenting sign. The authors emphasize the clinical association between HIV infection and photosensitivity which has been increasingly recognized, although it is still poorly characterized from a clinical and photobiological point of view.
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