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Background: The skin, like all organs in the body is affected by several diseases in patients with HIV/AIDS. This is particularly so with viral skin disorders where impaired cellular immunity seems to be a common pathway of susceptibility. There are however few documented studies of these conditions in Nigeria and some other neighbouring west African countries.
This study aims to identify these skin disorders in patients attending the adult outpatient clinic in a rural/suburban health centre in the southern part of Nigeria and collate the differences and similarities to other related studies.
Methods/Design: This was done among HIV infected adult patients in the outpatient HIV clinic. It was a prospective observational study done in Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital Irrua Edo State Nigeria. The study was done over a 12 months period. All patients with skin complaints were included in the study while those without were excluded.
Results: Nine thousand, four hundred and sixty patients were seen during this period including new and old patients returning for follow up visits. Four hundred and ninety had different dermatologic complaints during these visits giving a prevalence of 5.17%. The male:female ratio was 1:1.4 and a mean age of 38±10 years.
One hundred and eighty two of these patients had clinical features of cutaneous viral infections giving a prevalence of 37.1% of cutaneous complaints. Herpes Zoster (27%), Genital warts (19.2%), Plain viral warts (15.4%) and Herpes Simplex (15.4%) are the commonest cutaneous viral pathologies encountered. Others include Pityriasis Rosea (11.5%), Molluscum contagiosum (7.7%), and Varicella zoster (chicken pox - 3.8%).
Conclusion: Viral skin infections are very common in the HIV/AIDS population and they constitute a significant cause of morbidity in these patients.