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April 1990

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome and the Dermatologist

Author Affiliations

4103 Camellia Ave Studio City, CA 91604

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(4):537. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670280123025

To the Editor.—  I found Neil S. Prose's perspective, "AIDS and the Dermatologist"1 enlightening, interesting, and accurate. One statement, however, bothered me a little. "Educationally, the time spent in rounds and conferences discussing HIV infection may diminish the amount of learning about the diagnosis and management of other common and rare diseases," Prose writes.I doubt that very much. More likely, just the opposite is true. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has become this generation's "great imitator." Virtually every organ system in the body can be involved by the human immunodeficiency virus. "To know AIDS is to know medicine" is no exaggeration.We are seeing conditions today virtually never encountered in the pre-AIDS era. Cryptococcosis,2 cytomegalovirus infection,3 atypical mycobacterial infection,4 toxoplasmosis,5 disseminated candidiasis, aspergillosis, to name just a few, can all mimic other conditions, including skin lesions. All of these are common in AIDS. The consulting

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