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Dermatology Online Journal

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Clinical presentation of verruca vulgaris in HIV


Background: Immunocompromised patients, including those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), have been observed to have verrucae that are more extensive and treatment-resistant compared to those in immunocompetent patients. However, there is a critical lack of data in the current literature on the characteristics of verruca vulgaris in individuals with HIV.

Methods: This retrospective chart review included a cohort of HIV-positive individuals and a control group of immunocompetent individuals presenting to an outpatient, county hospital-based dermatology clinic for evaluation of verruca vulgaris between the years of 2016 and 2018. Clinical characteristics, including gender, age, last CD4 count, viral load, antiretroviral therapy adherence, and total number and location of lesions were recorded.

Results: A total of 66 patients (33 HIV-positive, 33 immunocompetent) were included in the study. HIV-positive status was significantly associated with a higher total number of lesions (42% of immunocompromised patients versus 21% of immunocompetent patients presented with four or more lesions, P=0.04) as well as location of lesions on the face, scalp, and neck (51.5% versus 9.1%, P<0.001).

Conclusions: HIV-positive status may be associated not only with a higher burden of verruca vulgaris lesions but also a higher number of lesions in locations at or above the neck.

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