BackgroundHuman immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has a protean clinical picture, in rare instances manifesting as systemic autoimmune disorders such as vasculitides. HIV-induced autoimmune diseases often do not respond well to systemic immunosuppressive therapy. Opportunistic infections may occur in patients with either acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or heavy immunosuppressive treatment, and can further complicate the clinical presentation.Case presentationA patient presenting with immunoglobulin A (IgA) vasculitis (IgAV) with treatment-refractory purpuric skin rash and suspect intestinal vasculitis was discovered to have AIDS. HIV was the trigger of IgAV, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) colitis mimicked intestinal vasculitis. Antiretroviral treatment improved both CMV colitis and the control of the autoimmune disease.ConclusionsAn autoimmune disease relapsing despite adequate immunosuppressive treatment and/or the presence of recurrent severe opportunistic infections may be clues to an underlying HIV infection.
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