Systemic lupus erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune condition, characterised by the production of multiple autoantibodies, with a wide variety of inflammatory manifestations including disease of the skin, lungs, kidneys, heart, nervous system, joints and other connective tissue (such as pleura and pericardium). In addition, it can interfere with the production of all blood cell types. SLE predominantly affects women. The literature describes relatively few cases of concomitant SLE and HIV infection with very variable disease manifestations. For example, both improvement and flares of SLE have been observed in the setting of HIV infection (31, 35). Immunosuppression with corticosteroid and immunomodulating agents are often needed. Importantly, false positive antibody results are known to occur in both conditions i.e. SLE patients may have a false positive HIV-antibody test and HIV-infected patients may produce low levels of autoantibodies commonly present in patients with SLE (36).