The clinical effects of natural sunlight exposure on HIV-infected patients

T. A. Kaspar, S. A. Black, R. F. Wagner, J. A. Hokanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Skin exposure to ultraviolet light is associated with local immunosuppression. The therapeutic use of ultraviolet radiation in the setting of HIV has raised concerns about systemic immunocompromise. Objective. Our purpose was to investigate the health of HIV-infected homosexual men as it related to their natural sunlight exposure. Methods. Data was retrospectively collected about natural sunlight exposure from 71 HIV-infected male out-patients with skin types I-IV and this information was analyzed with regard to patient morbidity. Results. No definitive differences were found between patient morbidity and hours of sunlight exposure, sunscreen use and sunburn. Differences in weight loss were found for the combined risks of fairer skin and low sunscreen use. Conclusion. Although this study did not demonstrate definitive clinical danger to HIV-infected patients from natural sunlight exposure, we did find increased risks for fair-skinned individuals who did not use sunscreen. It is prudent that patients infected with HIV should follow general sun protection guidelines. There is a need for prospective investigation on this topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalSkin Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • homosexual
  • immunity
  • morbidity
  • skin type
  • sunlight
  • sunscreen
  • ultraviolet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Dermatology


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