Scabies is caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var humanus and commonly presents in patients with HIV infection in a similar manner to the immunocompetent population. There are other types of mites that can cause a myriad of dermatologic symptoms but that do not display characteristic features as scabies does. However, some of these mites can be vectors for bacterial and rickettsial diseases, in contrast to Sarcoptes.,  Scabies transmission occurs by direct skin-to-skin contact with a person who has the infection. The likelihood of transmission is higher when the parasite burden in the affected patient is bigger. Transmission via inanimate objects, such as shared clothing, is rare, but it occurs in immunocompromised individuals.
Crusted scabies has been reported to be extremely frequent in remote communities in the Australian Northern Territory, but not related to HIV infection.