Initiation of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected adults with skin complaints in northern Tanzania.

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Abnormal skin findings are identified in over 90% of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons globally. A prospective cohort study of HIV-infected patients with skin complaints commencing antiretroviral therapy (ART) in northern Tanzania was undertaken. Consecutive HIV-infected subjects presenting with skin complaints, who met criteria for ART initiation, were recruited at a Tanzanian Regional Dermatology Training Center. A single dermatologist evaluated all subjects; baseline skin biopsies were performed, and CD4(+) cell counts and plasma HIV RNA levels were measured. All subjects received a fixed-dose combination of stavudine, lamivudine, and nevirapine. A total of 100 subjects were enrolled; 86 subjects completed six months of follow-up. Median baseline CD4(+) cell counts and plasma HIV RNA levels were 120 cells/μl and 5.2 log10 copies/ml. The most common dermatologic condition was papular pruritic eruption (47%). The median baseline score on the Burn Scale was 38%. After six months, 10 subjects had achieved the complete resolution of skin abnormalities. In those without complete resolution, the median Burn Scale score improved to 7%. Five patients developed new eruptions by month 3, which in two cases were attributed to drug reactions. In the 86 subjects remaining on ART after six months, the median CD4(+) cell count had increased to 474 cells/μl, and plasma HIV RNA levels were <400 copies/ml in 85 (99%) subjects. Patients with HIV infection with skin complaints experienced marked clinical improvements following ART initiation.





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Mavura, Daudi R, E John Masenga, Eli Minja, Henning Grossmann, John A Crump and John A Bartlett (2015). Initiation of antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected adults with skin complaints in northern Tanzania. Int J Dermatol, 54(1). pp. 68–73. 10.1111/ijd.12563 Retrieved from

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John Andrew Crump

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine

I am based in northern Tanzania where I am Site Leader for Duke University’s collaborative research program based at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre and Director of Tanzania Operations for the Duke Global Health Institute. I oversee the design and implementation of research studies on infectious diseases, particularly febrile illness, invasive bacterial disease, HIV-associated opportunistic infections, clinical trials of antiretroviral therapy and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and infectious diseases diagnostics. In addition, I am a medical epidemiologist with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). My CDC work focuses on enteric infection epidemiology and prevention in developing countries, particularly invasive salmonelloses.


John Alexander Bartlett

Professor of Medicine

My clinical investigation is focused on the pathogenesis and treatment of HIV infection and its complications, especially in resource-limited settings.

Key Words: HIV infection, AIDS, treatment strategies, treatment failure, co-infections, resource-limited settings

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