Rheumatic manifestations among HIV positive adults attending the Infectious disease clinic at Mulago hospital

  • M Kaddu-Mukasa
  • E Ssekasanvu
  • E Ddumba
  • D Thomas
  • ET Katabira
Keywords: rheumatic manifestations, hiv and arthritis


Background: Rheumatic manifestations in HIV are common and sometimes the initial presentation of the disease. HIV is now a common infection at the Infectious Disease Clinic, Mulago. The spectrum of joint
diseases seen depend on a number of factors such as, the CD4 count, HLA status and current therapy.
Objective: This study included HIV patients from a heterogeneous population and was designed to determine the prevalence and clinical pattern of rheumatic manifestations among these HIV patients.
Methods: Four hundred eighty seven patients were screened and 300 HIV positive patients were consecutively recruited into the study, evaluated for rheumatic manifestations and their clinical and laboratory findings
Results: The prevalence of rheumatic manifestations was 27% (81of 300). Arthralgias in 19.3% of the study population were commonest finding followed by HIV associated arthritis at 4.3%. The lower limbs were the
most commonly affected with the knees (28.8%) and ankles (26.9%) contributing the highest. All patients had a negative anti-nuclear antibody test, with only two having a positive rheumatoid factor test. An association of antituberculosis drugs with joint disease was further highlighted in this study (OR 3.79 95% CI, 1.44 – 9.93). Septic arthritis due to Staphylococcus aureus was rarely observed except when the patients’ level of CD4 + T cells dropped below 200 cells mm3. The mean CD4+ count was 171 cells mm3.
Conclusion: Rheumatic manifestations should be considered among HIV positive adults. Arthralgias are common especially in patients using pyrazinamide.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905