Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 156-158

A case of primary and secondary syphilis presenting together as immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome

1 Department of Dermatology, Base Hospital Delhi, Base Hospital Delhi Cantt, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, Base Hospital Delhi, Base Hospital Delhi Cantt, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Dermatology, Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, Jorhat, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Debdeep Mitra
Base Hospital Delhi Cantt, New Delhi - 110 010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijstd.IJSTD_58_20

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Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) is a condition during the clinical course of HIV infection in which there is paradoxical worsening and/or new onset of opportunistic infections in a HIV-positive patient who has recently been started on anti-retroviral therapy (ART). We present a case of AIDS with CD4 count of 20 cells/μl who presented within 6 weeks of starting ART with a CD4 count of 160 cells/μl and a painless solitary genital ulcer along with annular dark-colored plaques over soles. His screening test for syphilis was negative both during baseline evaluation, prior to initiation of ART, and during his clinical presentation. His disease was confirmed based on a positive treponema pallidum hemagglutination test report and a suggestive skin biopsy. He responded well to three doses of Benzathine Penicillin and continuation of ART. There are very few case reports of syphilis presenting as IRIS and this case is all the more unique as he had features of both primary and secondary syphilis occurring together within 6 weeks of starting ART. This report would reiterate the fact that syphilis and HIV co-infection can alter the natural course of both the diseases and a high index of suspicion is required for treating them.

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