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Chemotherapy with paclitaxel for recalcitrant molluscum contagiosum in an HIV-infected patient
  1. Shannon Ugarte,
  2. Sino Mehrmal and
  3. Kevin Knopf
  1. Oncology, Highland Hospital w UCSF affiliation, Oakland, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shannon Ugarte; shannonu1303{at}


Molluscum contagiosum (MC) is a viral skin infection seen in children, sexually active adults and immunocompromised populations. It is usually a self-limiting illness that typically spontaneously resolves without therapeutic intervention. However, when the papules are extensive or refractory causing complications or aesthetic issues, multiple treatment modalities exist to relieve symptoms, limit spread and decrease the social stigma associated with visible lesions. Treatment is especially important in HIV/AIDS infected populations, where prevalence is estimated between 5% and 18% and susceptibility to larger, widespread and recalcitrant lesions involving atypical distributions is more common. We evaluated a 38-year-old woman with a history of AIDS (CD4+ T cell count <25 cells/µL) and poor adherence with antiretroviral therapy who presented with a 9-month history of persistent, progressively worsening facial and truncal umbilicated papules consistent with recalcitrant MC refractory to cidofovir injections. She was successfully treated with paclitaxel with complete resolution of the lesions after four cycles without adverse effects.

  • HIV / AIDS
  • dermatology
  • skin

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  • Contributors KK created the idea of the case report and submitted finalised edits to our manuscript. SU planned, researched the literature and wrote the article and is the main guarantor for the project. SM also contributed to writing the article and researched the literature.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.