What is HIV Rash? Characteristics of HIV rash. How is it Treated?

HIV Rash

What is an HIV rash?

For many people newly infected with HIV AIDS, a rash is one of the earliest symptoms of HIV AIDS.An HIV rash is mostly irritated skin that affects people who have the virus. It can be itchy, red, or purple and HIV rash is very painful.Most people who have HIV get a rash at some point on body area. It’s a very common symptom that can happen in starting phase or early (acute) or later stages of HIV infection. For many, it may be one of the very first signs or symptom of infection.

What are the characteristics of HIV rash?

  • HIV rash is one of the very first signs of infection on skin in many patients.
  • HIV rash can also occur in that type of patients who are taking antiretroviral medication to treat HIV or HIV AIDS.

Rash as an early symptom of HIV

Many people who are newly infected with HIV, a rash is one of the earliest symptoms for HIV patients. There are some symptoms of HIV rash.

Skin changes

According to some health studies, 90 percent of people who are living with HIV experience skin symptoms changes at some stage of the disease.The rash can easily develop because of conditions caused by HIV. Rash spread if it can be a side effect of medications that treat HIV, called antiretroviral drugs.

How do rashes change over time?

Rashes caused by infections and that infections will go away with proper treatment.However, because HIV steadily weakens(physical weakens) the immune system(even can’t fight against a viral infection), an infectious rash may return. Cellulitis in particular tends to recur.There are many fruits that boosts your immune system very fast.People with HIV who have had one infectious rash on skin may also later develop a different infectious rash.

Medication alert

HIV Rashes Caused by Medication:According to studies, there are three main classes of antiretroviral drugs that are responsible for causing skin rashes.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publish reports that three main classes of antiretroviral drugs are responsible for causing skin rashes:

  • Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)
  • Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI)
  • Protease inhibitors (PIs)

NNRTIs such as nevirapine (Viramune) is the most common cause of medication skin rashes.Abacavir (Ziagen) is an NRTI(Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors) drug that can cause skin rashes.The most likely PIs(Protease inhibitors) to cause rashes are amprenavir (Agenerase) and tipranavir (Aptivus).The rash happens on skin of our body when your body tries to fight off the virus. Here, given below other symptoms of early HIV infection:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Diarrhea

These typically last about 2 weeks.A very wide range of illnesses, infections, and allergic reactions can exactly irritate the skin. However, a rash alone is never sufficient to diagnose HIV.

Stages of HIV

HIV usually progresses through these three stages:

StageNameDescription
1Acute HIVThe Acute HIV virus reproduces rapidly in our body, causing severe flu-like symptoms.
2Chronic HIVThe chronic HIV virus reproduces more slowly that Acute virus. A person may not feel any known symptoms at all. This stage can last 10 years or longer than that.
3AIDSOur immune system has been very badly damaged by HIV. This stage causes the CD4(one type of blood cell) cell count to fall below 200 cells per cubic millimeter (mm3) of blood. The normal person's count is 500 to 1600 cells per mm3.

Who gets HIV rash?

Generally, people, who develop a rash on their body and believe that they may have been exposed HIV virus they should see the doctor.People are at high risk of exposure through sex with someone whose HIV status is unknown, sharing needles, or a blood transfusion, for example.HIV rash can generally occur either as an early sign of HIV AIDS, or as a reaction to HIV treatment.In people who have recently been infected with HIV virus, it tends to appear within weeks of infection.It is very important that you get tested for HIV AIDS. If you have had unprotected sex(without a condom or without any other protection) and are suffering from an unexplained rash. Getting HIV or rash tested will either give you peace of mind or help you get treated without delay.

What does HIV rash look like?

HIV rash usually causes blotches and red and maroon spots on the skin. Rash spots are red in people with fair skin or dark purplish in people with dark skin. The HIV rash spots may be flat or slightly raised, and tend to be very itchy.

hiv rash on hand

The symptoms vary between patients because all patients are not have same level of infections. Some get a very severe rash which covers a large area of our body, others only have a very minor rash.Rash tends to disappear from our body by itself within a few weeks. Some people mistake it for an allergic reaction(which is for a short time) or eczema and fail to realize any symptoms that they have contracted HIV.

Rash usually occurs on

  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Face
  • Upper body
  • Hands

In most cases, HIV rash occurs during seroconversion ( When the infection becomes easily detectable via blood tests).

Pictures of HIV rash

hiv rash pictures

When to see a doctor

Before deciding anything yourself you should prompt HIV testing is a very important weapon in the fight against HIV AIDS.Nowadays, early diagnosis enables very effective and best treatment, and can potentially lead to a longer life or healthy life.Rash development: People who develop a rash on the skin like HIV or flu-like symptoms should see their doctors immediately if they may have been exposed to HIV.Anyone can easily contract HIV after exposure to infected blood, semen (while having sex or oral sex), vaginal fluids, or breast milk.A perfect blood test can easily tell whether you have the virus or not. The sooner you properly get diagnosed, the sooner you can easily begin your treatment.Medications is a treatment that will help control the virus. In medications, keep your sensitive infection from becoming AIDS, and help you stay healthy, fit, and live longer. They’ll also lower your big risk of spreading HIV to other people or to your partner.

Risk factors for HIV infection

  • A recent blood transfusion(one to many or many to one)
  • Use of the same needles to inject drugs, particularly among people who share needles to inject any drugs or to take out blood
  • Very high-risk sex, including non-monogamous sex, unprotected sex, including vaginal(female genital part) and anal sex
  • Sex with a new partner or many partners if that partner’s HIV status is unknown
  • A child breastfeeding from an HIV-positive woman or HIV status is an unknown woman
  • Breastfeeding a child with HIV positive

HIV rash treatments

Treatment of HIV-related skin rashes actually depends on the cause of patients.If it’s because of any drug, stopping it should make the rash go away from you. Skin problems or infections that occur due to HIV have also become very easy to treat.

acute hiv rash

In HIV rash any antiviral or antiretroviral medications may help you feel better and healthier. If you’re exactly not sure what’s causing your rash on the skin, see your doctor immediately.

Other things you can do to treat HIV rash

  • Frankly talk with your doctor about over-the-counter medication, such as an antihistamine or hydrocortisone, to help with itching.
  • When you feel that you have an HIV rash at that time don’t take hot showers or baths.
  • Stay out of direct sunlight because it will be very dangerous to you.

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