Successful Treatment of Psoriasis-like Lesions in HIV Infected Patients in Uganda with Chloroquine

Hasan M. Shihab1, 4, Jordan J. Feld1, 5, Fred Lutwama1, 1, Theresa Piloya1, 2, 3, *, Robert Colebunders
1 Infectious Diseases Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
2 Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
3 University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
4 Division of General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
5 Department of Medicine, University Health Network, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto,Canada

© 2009 Shihab et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Institute of Tropical Medicine and University of Antwerp, Nationalestraat 155, B-2000, Antwerp, Belgium. Tel: + 3232476426; Fax: 3232476432; E-mail:


The effect of chloroquine in the treatment of psoriasis remains controversial. Treatment of psoriasis in HIV infection is not well described. Chloroquine has been shown to have direct effects on both the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and on the psoriasis disease process. The effect of chloroquine in HIV infected patients with psoriasis has not been well studied.

We report on the effect of chloroquine on psoriasis-like lesions in three HIV infected patients who were not on antiretroviral therapy. Three consecutive HIV positive patients with CD4 cell count below 200cells/mm3 had unequivocal improvement of their psoriasis-like lesions after 2 weeks of a daily dose of 150mg of chloroquine.

In conclusion, chloroquine may be useful in the treatment of psoriasis-like lesions in patients with HIV infection particularly in resource poor settings. Ideally, a controlled clinical trial will be needed to confirm this.

Keywords: Psoriasis, Chloroquine, HIV.