Pain Management of AIDS Patients
Thousands of articles and many books have been published on the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). There are, however, no studies or case reports and only several articles published on the anesthetic considerations for a person with AIDS or in pain with AIDS. There is no literature on the pain management of AIDS patients. Writing on this subject must be considered trailblazing. The reason anesthesiologists should know about AIDS has rapidly extended from concern over transmission of infection to anesthetic and analgesic considerations. The anesthesiologist may also be part of a pain management team on either an acute or a chronic pain service. The requirement may be to treat an HIV -positive or AIDS patient acutely postoperatively or in consult to a psychiatric, medical, or surgical service. In a pain clinic setting, the anesthesiologist may be concerned with diagnosis, treatment, or referral for other multidisciplinary consultation. The earlier question of central nervous system involvement in AIDS is now moot, rapidly replaced with the knowledge that the eNS, if not primarily infected, is so shortly thereafter. Protected by the blood-brain barrier, the eNS becomes both a sanctuary and reservoir for HIV. Because neurologic complications of HIV are common, and since knowledge of the nervous system is essential for anesthetic and pain management, it is important to review HIV infection of the nervous system.