Comorbid pain syndromes in HIV-associated peripheral neuropathy

Allison Navis, Jocelyn Jiao, Mary Catherine George, David Simpson, Jessica Robinson-Papp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective. Peripheral neuropathy (PN) is a common complication of HIV. There is increasing awareness that some forms of PN, particularly small-fiber neuropathies, can be associated with chronic widespread pain syndromes. Given the high prevalence of both PN and chronic pain in HIV, we sought to determine whether patients with a diagnosis of HIV-PN were more likely to experience other chronic pain syndromes. Methods. Data were obtained from the Clinical Data Warehouse maintained by our institution. All HIVinfected patients receiving standard of care antiretroviral therapy in our institution's primary care HIV clinic (N = 638) were included. Diagnoses of HIV-PN and other chronic pain disorders were established based on clinician-assigned ICD-9/10 codes. Results. Sixty-eight patients (11%) had a diagnosis of HIV-PN. Patients with HIV-PN were more than twice as likely to have other chronic pain disorders (66% vs 32%, χ2 = 30.3, P < 0.001). Patients with HIVPN were also older and more likely to have substance use and psychiatric disorders; however, the association of HIV-PN with other chronic pain disorders persisted after adjusting for relevant confounders (χ2(5) = 81.38, P < 0.001). Conclusions. Patients with HIV-PN commonly experience other chronic pain disorders. Clinicians managing HIV-PN should seek a broad understanding of patients' pain experience as this may alter management strategies. Researchers studying HIV-PN should consider how the presence of other pain disorders might affect outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1445-1450
Number of pages6
JournalPain Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Chronic Pain
  • HIV
  • Peripheral Neuropathy


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