ABSTRACT: Syphilis and HIV are both transmitted sexually and have emerged as important co-pathogens with reciprocal augmentation in transmission and disease progression. HIV-positive patients tend to experience more aggressive symptomatology due to syphilis and are at greater risk of developing neurological disease. Similarly, standard therapy for syphilis may be inadequate in HIV-positive individual suggesting intensified treatment regimens may be required along with close follow-up. We report here the case of a 50-year-old HIV-positive male presenting with an unusual constellation of neurological findings. Although he had been treated appropriately 10 years previously for primary syphilis, investigations revealed multiple current intracranial gummas. Treatment with high-dose intravenous penicillin G resulted in clinical and radiographic resolution. Given the broad differential for HIV-positive patients presenting with neurological symptoms, the clinician must maintain a high index of suspicion for syphilis known for its varied and at times unusual manifestations. Further, prior treatment of syphilis does not ensure cure and so syphilis must be considered irrespective of treatment history.
International journal of infectious diseases: IJID: official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases 03/2010; 14 Suppl 3:e283-6. · 2.17 Impact Factor