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Frequency, pattern, and extent of skin diseases in relation to CD4+ cell count among adults with human immunodeficiency virus infection or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in Osogbo, southwestern Nigeria


  • Adeolu Oladayo Akinboro MBBS, FMCP, FWACP,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Internal Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and Lautech Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Osun, Nigeria
    • Correspondence

      Adeolu O. Akinboro, mbbs, fmcp, fwacp

      Department of Internal Medicine

      College of Health Sciences

      Lautech Teaching Hospital

      PMB 5000 Osogbo, Osun State



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  • Olaniyi Onayemi FMCP,

    1. Department of Dermatology and Venereology, University Teaching Hospital Complex and College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun, Nigeria
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  • Ayodele D. Mejiuni MBBS, FMCP

    1. Bullsbrook Family Medical Practice, Perth, WA, Australia
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  • Funding: None.
  • Conflicts of interest: None.



Skin diseases characterize all stages of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and contribute significantly to associated morbidity and mortality.


The aim of this study was to document the prevalences, patterns, and extents (severity) of skin diseases and their relationships with immunologic status in HIV/AIDS patients.


A total of 140 HIV/AIDS patients in different stages of HIV infection and 140 controls were recruited. Skin diseases were documented and CD4+ cell counts determined in all subjects. Severity was assessed according to the body surface area affected (using the Wallace rule of nines and the rule of palm) for lesions that tended to be widespread. The number of digits involved was counted for lesions involving the nails. Intensity of pain was graded for specific conditions such as herpes zoster. Chi-squared statistics and Pearson correlations were determined.


Mean ± standard deviation age was 35.04 ± 8.83 years in the patient group and 32.21 ± 8.30 years in the control group. The prevalences and patterns of skin diseases in HIV/AIDS patients were similar to those reported in previous studies. Most commonly found dermatoses were oral candidiasis (n = 28, 20.0%), pruritic papular eruption (n = 27, 19.3%), xeroderma (n = 23, 16.4%), dermatophytosis (n = 22, 15.7%), and fluffy hair (n = 19, 13.6%). The presence of specific skin lesions represented a better correlate with immunosuppression than cutaneous extents. However, the extents of viral warts and multiple blue–black nails correlated significantly with CD4+ cell count. The presence of a lighter hair color phenotype signifies a lower CD4+ cell count than a softer hair phenotype.


The presence of specific skin lesions correlates more strongly with a low CD4+ cell count than does the extent of their distribution, except in cases of viral warts. The presence of and higher numbers of nails affected with blue–black nail hyperpigmentation suggest severe immunosuppression.