What is the role of molluscum contagiosum in the ocular manifestations of HIV infection?

Updated: Jun 12, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Copeland, Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Molluscum contagiosum is the most common ocular adnexal manifestation in patients who are HIV positive. It is a highly contagious dermatitis caused by DNA poxvirus, and it may affect mucous membranes as well as skin.

The DNA poxvirus spreads by direct contact with infected persons or by fomites. The small, painless, umbilicated lesions contain poxvirus particles that are released into tears with associated toxic keratoconjunctivitis.

Molluscum contagiosum is more frequent and severe in patients who are HIV positive than in patients who are HIV negative. The eyelid is involved in 5% of HIV-positive patients.

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