Different patterns of dermatological presentations in patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus (HCV), and those infected with HCV alone


  • Conflict of interest: none declared.

Dr Vanessa Santos Cunha, Department of Dermatology, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Campus Universitário, Trindade, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil
E-mail: vscunha@yahoo.com


Background.  Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) share the same transmission routes. About 30% of HIV-positive patients are co-infected with HCV. Of the various HCV-related extrahepatic events, those involving the skin may be the first sign of infection.

Aim.  To specify the skin presentations in patients co-infected with HIV and HCV (co-infected patients; CP) and compare them with those found in patients with HCV mono-infection (mono-infected patients; MP).

Methods.  This was a cross-sectional study, in which the studied population consisted of MP and CP from a tertiary hospital in the South of Brazil, who underwent complete skin examination and laboratory tests.

Results.  In total, 201 patients were assessed, of whom 108 were CP, and 93 were MP. Pruritus tended to be more common in MP. MP also had significantly more dermatological conditions (mean of 5.2) than CP (mean of 4.5). In total, 104 different skin diseases were identified. There was a higher prevalence of infectious diseases and pigmentation disorders, such as verruca vulgaris and facial melasma, in CP, whereas trunk and facial telangiectasias, palmar erythema, and varicose veins were more common in MP.

Conclusion.  We found a high prevalence of skin conditions both in MP and in CP; however, the patterns of the dermatological conditions were different. CP were found to have significantly fewer skin lesions than MP, but had a higher prevalence of infectious and pigmentation disorders. By contrast, vascular conditions were more common in MP.