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The World in Medicine
October 11, 2000

HIV Misdiagnoses

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JAMA. 2000;284(14):1777. doi:10.1001/jama.284.14.1777-JWM00008-3-1

Researchers in Spain have cautioned that symptoms of primary HIV infection may easily be mistaken for endemic diseases in certain parts of the world.

Their warning, presented at last month's Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Toronto, Ontario, described case studies of four patients treated during summer months at the Sabadell Hospital outside Barcelona. The patients, two men and two women between the ages of 42 and 54 years, presented at the hospital's emergency department with acute fever and exanthema, which are primary symptoms of Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF), an endemic illness in the region, particularly during the summer. Cases of MSF have increased substantially in the Mediterranean basin during the last 25 years, heightening physicians' awareness.