In this issue of the Archives, the Sydney AIDS Study Group provides important additional data regarding the spectrum of clinical illness associated with primary infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).1 Studies such as the one by the Sydney group are difficult to perform and are often criticized because of concerns about the nonspecificity of the clinical symptoms associated with a given pathogen. Nonetheless, this study suggests that a significant proportion of patients experience clinical manifestations in association with primary HIV infection.
This study presents both challenges and opportunities. Clinicians caring for those at increased risk for HIV infection will be called on to investigate symptoms of malaise, fever, lethargy, and sore throat in greater detail. Increased recognition of a primary syndrome associated with HIV infection may spur clinical application of diagnostic tools that provide evidence of HIV infection earlier than conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay techniques.
See also p 945.