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Early syphilis presenting as a painful polyradiculopathy in an HIV positive individual
  1. A Winston1,2,
  2. D Marriott2,
  3. B Brew2,3
  1. 1Department of Immunology, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
  2. 2Department of Infectious Diseases, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
  3. 3Department of Neurology, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Alan Winston
 National Centre for HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, 376 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia;


Neurosyphilis and neurological complications from syphilis may be commoner in HIV disease. With outbreaks of early syphilis in HIV positive individuals being observed over recent years, rare neurological manifestations of secondary syphilis will be observed more commonly. We describe a case of an HIV positive individual whose first presenting feature of early syphilis was a polyradiculopathy.

  • ALT, alanine aminotransferase
  • CT, computed tomography
  • CSF, cerebrospinal fluid
  • HAART, highly active antiretroviral therapy
  • HSV, herpes simplex virus
  • MRI, magnetic resonance imaging
  • MSM, men who have sex with men
  • PcP, Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia
  • PCR, polymerase chain reaction
  • RPR, rapid plasma reagent
  • HIV
  • syphilis

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