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Osteoarticular infection in intravenous drug abusers: influence of HIV infection and differences with non drug abusers.
  1. S Muñoz-Fernández,
  2. M A Maciá,
  3. L Pantoja,
  4. A Cardenal,
  5. J M Peña,
  6. E Martín Mola,
  7. A Balsa,
  8. F J Barbado,
  9. J J Vázquez,
  10. J Gijón Baños
  1. Rheumatology Unit, Hospital La Paz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


    OBJECTIVES--To determine (a) the influence of HIV in developing osteoarticular infections in intravenous drug abusers (IVDAs) and (b) the differences between the clinical features of osteoarticular infections in IVDAs and a control group of non-IVDAs. METHODS--A comparative study of the clinical features of osteoarticular infections in all HIV positive and HIV negative IVDAs admitted to the departments of rheumatology and internal medicine during a 10 year period was carried out. The joint infections of all IVDAs, irrespective of HIV status, were compared with those of a control group of non-IVDAs lacking risk factors for HIV infection. RESULTS--A total of 482 HIV positive and 85 HIV negative IVDAs was studied, in whom 25 (5%) and six (7%) osteoarticular infections were found respectively. There were no differences in age, sex, joints affected, and causative agents between these two groups. A comparison of the 31 (5.5%) osteoarticular infections in all IVDAs with 21 infections in 616 (3.4%) non-IVDAs showed significant differences in the mean age (27.5 v 54), the frequency of affection of the axial joints (hip, sacroiliac, and sternocostal joints) (64.5% v 16.6%), and in the incidence of Candida albicans (19% v 0%). CONCLUSIONS--(1) HIV may not predispose to osteoarticular infections in IVDAs. (2) The hip, sacroiliac, and sternocostal joints (axial joints) were most commonly affected in IVDAs. (3) In Spain, unlike other countries, Gram positive bacteria and C albicans seem to be predominant agents in osteoarticular infections in IVDAs, with a low incidence of Gram negative bacteria.

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