As the number of HIV-1 infected individuals and AIDS patients continues to increase, more cases involving the genitourinary tract will be encountered. Often, genitourinary manifestations will be the initial presentation of AIDS. Proper diagnosis will require awareness and a high index of suspicion. In addition to routine cultures, opportunistic infections with unusual organisms will require staining for fungi and acid-fast bacilli. Repeat cultures of blood, urine, seminal fluid, and abscess cavities may be required to establish a diagnosis. Prolonged courses of antibiotic treatment for prophylaxis and for relapses are usually required. Clinical understaging and rapid progression of tumors distinguish HIV-1-associated malignancies involving the genitourinary tract. Treatment for these malignancies will depend on the stage of HIV-1 infection. Any concomitant drug therapy and evidence of malnutrition will be important factors in selecting the proper timing and mode of therapeutic intervention. Although AIDS predominantly affects individuals between 30 and 50 years of age,an increasing percentage of patients over 50 years of age are being diagnosed. Common risk factors for acquisition of HIV include homosexuality or bisexuality and transfusion of blood or blood products. For the urologist, it is important to recognize that older patients more frequently present with AIDS at the time of diagnosis of HIV infection. A more rapid course of deterioration and high mortality is noted in this population. Clearly, protocols including surveillance, dosing regimens, and surgical intervention will need to be established and clarified to treat an anticipated increasing number of affected patients. In addition, it appears that adequate adherence to universal precautions is far from being achieved. Close monitoring and active surveillance of infection control may be needed to improve compliance.
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