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HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus has nowadays become the most dangerous disease known to mankind. There is no cure for this till date. It can only be prevented, or its symptoms can be suppressed for a few years. The virus affects the entire body, but the initial symptoms usually go unnoticed. One of the initial symptoms is HIV skin rash. It can be either the initial symptoms or can be noticed as a side effect of medication and drugs for the ailment.

Causes

Skin rashes are one of the most common symptoms of HIV. These rashes are normal and are not contagious like chickenpox. They just appear for a short duration and can be easily treated with proper medication. There are two reasons behind the occurrence of skin rashes which are as follows.
  • Skin rashes are a symptom of HIV. It usually appears in the initial stage and then again appear after 8 to 10 years.
  • The second reason behind the rashes are the medications. The drugs which are used to treat HIV like NNRTIs (non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors), NRTIs (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors), PIs (protease inhibitors), etc. result in rashes. This condition is usually observed after taking any new medication. It stays for a few days and then disappears as you continue taking the medication.
Acute cases of HIV skin rash may result in the peeling of skin and formation of sores and blisters. They then disappear with time. However, severe or chronic rashes are very dangerous and can even result in death. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) are types of skin rashes which are the result of anti HIV medications.

Symptoms

HIV rash symptoms in men and women are very similar to the other normal rash symptoms. Hence, every symptom should not be mistaken as those of HIV.
  • In the initial phase, the skin may peel out which may sometimes result in painful sores.
  • Blisters may occur in the genital parts and other moist parts of the body like mouth, eyes, etc.
  • You may also observe sores on the skin of the hands, feet, and face.
  • Red spots may appear bulged or flat.
  • You may also experience fever and headache.
Treatment

As we all know that HIV cannot be cured, so the HIV rashes in women as well as in men can only be suppressed or treated. A doctor may prescribe some ointments and medications to get relief from the itching and pain. In case of chronic rashes you may be hospitalized and kept under observation so as to stop the condition from becoming critical. If the rashes are the result of medication then stop taking it and consult your doctor for further guidance. Apart from these treatments, you should take some precautions in order to avoid complications. Avoid exposure to extreme heat and extreme cold to avoid aggravating the condition.

You can stay away from this infection by taking precautions. Not all the rashes are HIV skin rash, so get tested for HIV first and then take the treatment. It is also not necessary that all the people affected with HIV will get a skin rash. If you have rashes which are not healing within a few days then consult your doctor immediately, before they become incurable. Have safe sex and be faithful to your partner, this will help you to stay away from one of the most dangerous diseases.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.