Multicentre study on the prevalence of symptoms and symptomatic treatment in HIV infection

Massimo Fantoni, Francesco Ricci, Cosmo Del Borgo, Immacolata Izzi, Fernando Damiano, Anna M. Moscati, Giuseppe Marasca, Nazario Bevilacqua, Antonio Del Forno

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We investigated the prevalence and intensity of symptoms and the use of drugs for symptom control among all HIV-infected patients reporting to the outpatient clinics or wards of 15 clinical centres in central Italy, recording clinical and epidemiological data on three consecutive days. A total of 1128 patients were observed and tabulated. Their most frequent symptoms were asthenia (55%), anorexia (34%), cough (32%), pain (29%), and fever (29%). Opioid analgesics were used in 3% of these patients and non-opioid analgesics in 13%. A large majority of HIV-infected patients presented with symptoms regardless of the stage of their disease. Pain was present in fewer than one third of patients but nonetheless seemed to be undertreated. Pain was more frequent and more intense among intravenous drug users. Based on our study, a greater effort to control symptoms in HIV patients seems to be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-13
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Palliative Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)


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