Acute Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Presenting as Disseminated Gonococcal Infection

Offer Amir, MD, Vinh D. Nguyen, MD, Ben J. Barnett, MD


South Med J. 2003;96(3) 

In This Article


We present a case of coinfection during a single sexual exposure of disseminated Neisseria gonorrhoeae and HIV. Though the blood cultures were positive for gonorrhea, not all of the patient's clinical features were consistent with DGI, and this prompted a search for an alternative diagnosis. The ELISA test for HIV antibodies was negative but a diagnosis of acute HIV was made by very high HIV RNA viral load. In patients with high-risk exposures and the diagnosis of one sexually transmitted disease, consideration should be given to the diagnosis of other similarly transmitted diseases, as these diseases can be transmitted together. The diagnosis of acute HIV infection may have profound implications for the individual patient as well as the public health.