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Sex Transm Infect 81:359-360 doi:10.1136/sti.2004.013300
  • Letter

Primary HIV infection masquerading as Munchausen’s syndrome

  1. D Pao,
  2. D McElborough,
  3. M Fisher
  1. Departments of Genitourinary Medicine and Virology, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 5BE, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 David Pao
 Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 5BE, UK; david.paobsuh.nhs.uk
  • Accepted 3 November 2004

Since 1986 there have been several case reports describing factitious HIV infection.1 We have seen two acute presentations where the patients claimed to have chronic HIV infection, were found to be HIV antibody negative but on closer evaluation were found to be seroconverting with primary HIV infection (PHI). We believe that the patients were motivated by the psychological need to assume the sick role, fulfilling the principal feature of a factitious disorder, rather than malingering.

Case 1

A 40 year old homosexual man presented to HIV services with an acute diarrhoeal illness, claiming to have been diagnosed as …