February 6, 2001
Patients who are symptomatic when they acquire HIV tend to have a more aggressive clinical course. This study evaluated the effect of gender and age on the clinical presentation of acute retroviral syndrome among 378 patients followed in five prospective cohorts in the U.S., Switzerland and Australia. Although only 23 seroconverters were women, no differences in symptomatology or the duration of the acute retroviral syndrome were seen. However, older patients, between 33-38 and above 38 years of age, were significantly more likely to have pharyngitis and candida esophagitis, an AIDS-defining illness (p=<0.05). Other typical symptoms, such as fever, rash, headache, diarrhea, thrush and meningismus occurred at similar rates among older and younger (15-27, 27-32) patients.
Conceivably, the difference in clinical manifestations noted in this study for older individuals may in part explain why older age at seroconversion carries a poorer prognosis.
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