We have characterized the EV-like dermatosis of acquired HIV in 4 adolescents. Multiple HPV types were isolated in skin tissue samples, including β-HPV, but also high levels of HPV 1 and 2. ARV did not improve the EV eruption.
Background. We have previously described the presentation of epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV)–like eruptions in almost a quarter of hospitalized adolescents with vertically-acquired human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in Harare, Zimbabwe, a region with a high prevalence of HIV infection.
Methods. We performed a clinical case note review and skin biopsy from affected sites in 4 HIV-infected adolescents with EV-like lesions in Harare. Biopsies were processed for histology and for human papillomavirus (HPV) typing.
Results. All patients had long-standing skin lesions that pre-dated the diagnosis of HIV by several years. The histology of skin biopsies from all patients was consistent with EV. In each biopsy, EV-associated β-HPV type 5 was identified (additionally, type 19 was found in 1 biopsy). Cutaneous wart–associated HPV types 1 and 2 were detected in all biopsies, together with genital lesion–associated HPV types 6, 16, and 52, (as well as ≥3 other genital lesion–associated HPV types). Despite immune reconstitution with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), there was no improvement in EV-like lesions in any patient.
Conclusions. EV is a disfiguring and potentially stigmatizing condition among this patient group and is difficult to treat; cART appears to have no impact on the progression of skin disease. Among adolescents with longstanding HIV-induced immunosuppression and with high levels of sun exposure, close dermatological surveillance for potential skin malignancy is required.