We reviewed the medical records of all human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients who had a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) placed during a 1-year period. Ninety-seven PICCs were inserted in 66 patients for 8337 catheter-days. Eighty of 97 catheters were used primarily to treat cytomegalovirus disease. The mean time to any complication was 150 days. The total complication rate was 6.1 per 1000 catheter-days. The total infection rate was 1.3 per 1000 catheter-days, and the serious infection rate was 0.8 per 1000 catheter-days. The mean time to a serious infection was 310 days. The noninfectious complication rate was 4.6 per 1000 catheter-days. PICCs were associated with a low infection rate and a moderate mechanical complication rate, which compare favorably with historical rates seen in AIDS patients with other types of central venous access devices. PICCs are a reasonable alternative to other central venous access devices in patients with HIV or AIDS.
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