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11-07-2018 | Systemic lupus erythematosus | Article

Human immunodeficiency virus in a cohort of systemic lupus erythematosus patients

Advances in Rheumatology

Authors: Vanessa Hax, Ana Laura Didonet Moro, Rafaella Romeiro Piovesan, Luciano Zubaran Goldani, Ricardo Machado Xavier, Odirlei Andre Monticielo

Publisher: BioMed Central



Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) share many clinical manifestations and laboratory findings, therefore, concomitant diagnosis of SLE and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can be challenging.


Prospective cohort with 602 patients with SLE who attended the Rheumatology Clinic of the Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre since 2000. All patients were followed until 01 May 2015 or until death, if earlier. Demographic, clinical and laboratory data were prospectively collected.


Out of the 602 patients, 11 presented with the diagnosis of AIDS (1.59%). The following variables were significantly more prevalent in patients with concomitant HIV and SLE: neuropsychiatric lupus (10.9% vs. 36.4%; p = 0.028) and smoking (37.6% vs. 80%; p = 0.0009) while malar rash was significantly less prevalent in this population (56% vs. 18.2%; p = 0.015). Nephritis (40.5% vs. 63.6%; p = 0.134) and hemolytic anemia (28.6% vs. 54.5%; p = 0.089) were more prevalent in SLE patients with HIV, but with no statistical significance compared with SLE patients without HIV. The SLICC damage index median in the last medical consultation was significantly higher in SLE patients with HIV (1 vs. 2; p = 0,047).


Our patients with concomitant HIV and SLE have clinically more neuropsychiatric manifestations. For the first time, according to our knowledge, higher cumulative damage was described in lupus patients with concomitant HIV infection. Further studies are needed to elucidate this complex association, its outcomes, prognosis and which therapeutic approach it’s best for each case.

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