Clinical Guide > Common Complaints > Headache


January 2011

Chapter Contents


Headache in HIV-infected persons may result from many causes, particularly if the CD4 cell count is low. Possible causes include infections (opportunistic and other) and central nervous system malignancies, HIV-related systemic illnesses, and medication toxicity. In addition, of course, headache may be caused by any of the processes that cause headache in HIV-uninfected individuals. New or severe headache should be evaluated carefully.

S: Subjective

The patient complains of a new type of headache.

Determine the following during the history:

O: Objective

Perform a physical examination as follows:

A: Assessment

A partial differential diagnosis includes the following:

Other causes of headache unrelated to HIV should be considered.

P: Plan

Diagnostic Evaluation

Evaluation should include the following:

When indicated, also consider:


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