Man Gets COVID-19, Monkeypox and HIV during 5-Day Trip to Spain

Man Gets COVID-19, Monkeypox and HIV during 5-Day Trip to Spain

As per researchers from the University of Catania, Italy an Italian man has tested positive for not one, not two but three different, very serious viruses – COVID-19, Monkeypox and HIV – after returning from his trip to Spain.

This case was published by the team of scientists in the Journal of Infection and they mentioned that the unnamed 36-year-old man experienced sore throat, fatigue, fever and headaches after contracting the viruses.

Apparently, the unlucky patient spent 5 days in Spain back in June and 9 days after returning to his home country of Italy, he started experiencing the aforementioned symptoms.

Despite having received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and also previously testing positive for it at the beginning of this year, he tested positive again on July 2.

Unfortunately, that was not all! On the same day, he also started to develop a rash on his left arm and in less than 24 hours painful vesicles appeared all over his torso, legs, glutes and even face and they continued to spread.

By July 5, they had turned into pustules, which finally determined the man to go to the ER where he was then transferred to the Infectious Diseases Unit.

He tested positive for monkeypox, sharing with his physician that he had unprotected intercourse with other men while in Spain.

And the bad luck did not end there since a number of different STI tests came positive for HIV.

The scientists noted that they “assume the infection was relatively recent.”

Their report added that “This case highlights how monkeypox and COVID symptoms may overlap, and corroborates how in case of coinfection, anamnestic collection and sexual habits are crucial to get the correct diagnosis. Clinicians should be aware of a possibility of SARS-CoV-2 and monkeypox coinfection, particularly in subjects with recent history of travel to monkeypox outbreak areas. Our case emphasizes that sexual intercourse can be the main way of transmission. Therefore, complete STI screening is recommended following a diagnosis of monkeypox.”

At the same time, however, this is the one and only known case of triple infection with COVID-19, Monkeypox and HIV so it’s still unclear whether or not the combination poses a bigger threat to the patient’s overall condition.

All in all, the researchers stress that “healthcare systems must be aware of this eventuality, promoting appropriate diagnostic tests in high risk subjects, which are fundamental to containment as there’s no widely available treatment or prophylaxis.”


Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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