Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 95-99

Gastrointestinal opportunistic infections in human immunodeficiency virus disease


Department of Medicine (38), King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, P. O. Box 2925, Riyadh, 11461, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Awadh R Al Anazi
Department of Medicine (38), King Khalid University Hospital College of Medicine, King Saud University P. O. Box 2925, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.48965

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Gastrointestinal (GI) opportunistic infections (OIs) are commonly encountered at various stages of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease. In view of the suppressive nature of the virus and the direct contact with the environment, the GI tract is readily accessible and is a common site for clinical expression of HIV. The subject is presented based on information obtained by electronic searches of peer-reviewed articles in medical journals, Cochrane reviews and PubMed sources. The spectrum of GI OIs ranges from oral lesions of Candidiasis, various lesions of viral infections, hepatobiliary lesions, pancreatitis and anorectal lesions. The manifestations of the disease depend on the level of immunosuppression, as determined by the CD4 counts. The advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy has altered the pattern of presentation, resorting mainly to features of antimicrobial-associated colitis and side effects of antiretroviral drugs. The diagnosis of GI OIs in HIV/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients is usually straightforward. However, subtle presentations require that the physicians should have a high index of suspicion when given the setting of HIV infection.


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