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Diarrhea in HIV-Infected Patients

Gastrointestinal disease is a major problem in patients with HIV and AIDS, and diarrhea is reported in up to 60% of patients with AIDS.

Diarrhea may wax and wane over time, and in at least 30% of patients, an etiology cannot be determined. In such cases, the diarrhea is often attributed to HIV enteropathy.

Clinical Evaluation of AIDS-Associated Diarrhea

Diarrhea in HIV

The history should include the duration of symptoms, frequency and characteristics of stools, and the CD4 count. The amount and rate of weight loss, residential exposures, occupational exposures, recent travel, pets, hobbies (ie, fishing, hunting, cooking), and type of water supply should be assessed.

Recent antibiotic or antiretroviral use, previous opportunistic infections, and other illnesses or hospitalizations should be assessed.

Sexually transmitted diseases, intake of unpasteurized dairy products, or raw or under-cooked meat or shellfish should be sought.

Small-bowel diarrhea is generally watery and occurs in large volume (up to 10,000 mL/day).

Abdominal cramping, bloating, gas, and profound weight loss may diarrhea, HIV, AIDS occur.

Fever is absent and stool examinations for occult blood and