The skin is affected in virtually all patients with HIV infection. Many articles and several books have been published that deal with these disorders for a number of reasons. First, cutaneous disease may serve as the initial or only problem that the patient suffers for much of the course of the HIV infection. Second, serious opportunistic infections may present for the first time in the skin, so that a skin lesion may be a harbinger of the patient's having a life-threatening illness. Third, skin disorders in these patients may appear unusual and hence may not be accurately diagnosed by clinical inspection alone. Furthermore, response to treatment may be poorer than expected. Thus, skin diseases in the HIV-infected patient are important and, in some cases, may be the most debilitating element of the patient's condition.
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