Prevalence and characteristics of fibromyalgia among HIV-positive patients in southern Israel

Idit Dotan, Klaris Riesenberg, Ronen Toledano, Francisc Schlaeffer, Alexander Smolyakov, Lisa Saidel-Odes, Oded Wechsberg, Jacob N. Ablin, Victor Novack, Dan Buskila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective. Fibromyalgia and chronic pain have previously associated with HIV infection for over two decades. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence of FMS symptoms in an ethnically heterogeneous population of HIV-infected individuals in southern Israel, applying the proposed new diagnostic criteria for diagnosis of fibromyalgia symdrome (FMS). Methods. 156 HIV-positive patients followed at the AIDS clinic of the Soroka University Medical Center (SUMC) who gave written informed consent were recruited in the trial. FMS was diagnosed based on the widespread pain index (WPI) and the Symptom Severity Score (SSS) comprising the modified 2011 diagnostic criteria for FMS. CD4 levels ad viral load were obtained. Results. One hundred and thirty-nine patients (89.1%) were receiving HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy). A total of 22 patients (14.1%) were found to fulfill current criteria for diagnosis of FMS. FMS-criteria positive Individuals were slightly younger than criteria-negative individuals (40.3±9.2 vs. 42.6±11.9, p=0.39), but this difference did not reach statistical significance. There was no significant difference between the groups regarding gender, family status, religion, occupation or education. No correlation was found between CD4 and viral load levels and symptoms of FMS. Conclusion. Despite the dramatic improvement in management of HIV, FMS symptoms remain highly prevalent among these patients and are not directly correlated with indices of active disease. FMS is an important clinical issue to address among patients suffering from HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • HIV


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