Pain syndromes in AIDS patients

Academic Article


  • Pain is a major, but largely neglected problem in AIDS patients. The aim of this article is to review the etiology of pain manifestations in AIDS patients in different organ systems and to discuss appropriate treatment strategies. The most common pain symptoms in AIDS patients are headache, oral cavity pain, dysphagia and adynophagia, chest pain, abdominal pain and pain related to peripheral neuropathy. Symptomatic pain treatment should be started while diagnostic work-up is still in progress, so that the patient does not suffer. If etiological treatment is possible, specific treatment should be started and symptomatic pain treatment tapered as tolerated. If etiological treatment is not possible, symptomatic pain treatment should be continued. In view of the multiple organs involved in the presentation of AIDS requiring multiple drugs, careful attention to side effects, contraindications and drug interactions is warranted, when administering pain medications. Fear of the complexity of these issues should, however, not prevent effective pain management for these patients, who suffer from a fatal disease. A multidisciplinary approach to pain in AIDS patients, similar to the approach in patients with cancer, is desirable.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 27115953
  • Author List

  • Wesselmann U
  • Start Page

  • 1004
  • End Page

  • 1014
  • Volume

  • 45
  • Issue

  • 11