What are the signs and symptoms of GI infections in HIV infection?

Updated: Apr 09, 2019
  • Author: Jason F Okulicz, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Some common symptoms are dysphagia and odynophagia, infectious causes of which include candidal esophagitis, CMV, HSV, Kaposi sarcoma, MAC, and histoplasmosis. Another presenting symptom is nausea and vomiting, which is a common side effect of many ARVs but can sometimes be a sign of opportunistic infections.

Diarrhea is also a common symptom. Noninfectious causes such as adverse effects of ARVs, specifically protease inhibitors (PIs), are common. Infectious causes of diarrhea (occurring at any CD4 count) include viruses such as Norwalk virus, viral hepatitis, herpes enteritis, Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, E coli O157:H7, Giardia lamblia, E histolytica, and C difficile. Other infectious causes of chronic diarrhea (occurring at CD4 cell counts < 300 cells/µL) include microsporidia, cryptosporidia, Isospora, MAC, and CMV (at CD4 counts < 50 cells/µL).

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