Photodynamic Therapy for Molluscum Contagiosum Infection in HIV-Coinfected Patients: Review of 6 Patients

December 2003 | Volume 2 | Issue 6 | Original Article | 637 | Copyright © December 2003

Ali Moiin, MD

Molluscum contagiosum, a viral disease of the skin, manifests as a smooth-surfaced, firm, and spherical papule with umbilication of the vertex. It commonly presents as multiple lesions, which may be extensive in immunocompromised patients, and may mimic cutaneous tumors in HIV co-infected patients. Infection usually persists for 6 months to 5 years before resolving naturally. Among immune-impaired persons with HIV, infection is generally more persistent. To date, single and combination therapies for such patients have been unsatisfactory. Recent observations from a dermatology practice in which 6 patients with HIV and molluscum contagiosum were treated with 5-aminolevulinic acid (Levulan® Kerastick®) in conjunction with photodynamic therapy suggest clinical benefits; i.e., substantial reduction in lesional count and severity. Additional research is mandated.