Objectives: Skin disorders are thought to occur frequently in persons with HIV/AIDS. To our knowledge, there are no studies in the literature reporting on the spectrum and prevalence of skin disorders in HIV-positive patients in the Caribbean. This study focused on the prevalence and spectrum of skin disorders seen in a population of HIV-positive patients in Jamaica.
Methods: A 5-year retrospective study was conducted by reviewing the records of patients attending a HIV out-patient clinic at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.
Results: Two hundred and eighty-six (286) patients were included in the study. Skin and mucous membrane disorders were documented in 74% of the patients in this series. Inflammatory disorders comprised the largest category of skin disorders followed by fungal infections. The most frequently diagnosed dermatological disorders were papular prurigo, oral candidiasis, dermatophyte infections, herpes simplex infections and seborrhoeic dermatitis. Kaposi’s sarcoma was rare. This pattern is similar to those reported from the African continent and other tropical countries.
Conclusions: Dermatological disorders contribute significantly to the morbidity of HIV-positive patients and patterns of skin disorders are similar to those seen in other tropical settings.