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HIV Rash


What is HIV Rash?

Any rash is an area of the skin that is irritated and shows redness, swelling and can be painful or itchy.

An HIV rash is due to medications taken for HIV or due to low immune system. Most rashes that show up for an HIV patient are opportunistic infections. (1)

Opportunistic infections list:

The CDC is a great resource when looking into infectious disease. They show a long list of opportunistic diseases on their site. The opportunistic disease is those that take over when the immune system is depleted. They can cause lasting and devastating issues.

Please see the following web page to see the complete list of opportunistic disease noted by the CDC. (2,3,4,5)


What are Symptoms of HIV Rash?

Characteristics of an HIV rash will depend greatly on the cause of the rash. Most HIV rashes are opportunistic infections. The most common characteristics are:

  • Blotchy red raised areas
  • Blister-like marks on the skin
  • Raised painful areas
  • Itchy inflamed skin

What is acute HIV Rash?

Acute HIV rash is one of the first signs of HIV. HIV lowers the process of the immune system, therefore, leaving the opportunity to infectious organisms to enter and cause a rash. An unexplained rash may lead to an HIV diagnosis.

HIV rash on his neck.pcture

Image 1 : This picture shows a patient who was diagnosed with acute HIV rash on his neck.
Picture Source : encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

How long does HIV Rash last?

The length of the HIV rash will depend on its cause. If the cause is due to infection then antiviral or antibiotics must be taken. If it is related to a certain medication it may take the time to adjust to the medication or if changed then it will last until the medication is cleared from the system.

What does HIV Rash feel like?

The rash may burn or be itchy. If the rash is picked at or scratched a lot there will be more pain noted and this could also cause infection.

Does HIV Rash come and go?

Yes, if the rash is due to the lower immune system the rash may come and go many times. If it is due to medications then with the change of dosage or medication the expectation is that the rash does not continue.

What are HIV skin lesions?

A lesion on the skin is any opening that is not supposed to be there. If the rash is scratched or has a blister that opens this would be considered a lesion.

Does HIV Rash itch and burn?

Yes, it may burn or itch, this is not always the case but does happen depending on the cause.

When does HIV Rash appear?

Usually, it appears when the immune system is at its lowest.

Why do I get HIV Rash?

There are various reasons why someone with HIV will get a rash, here are a few of those reasons:
Infections due to low immune system

Medications were taken for HIV- All HIV medications show rash as a common side effect. (1)

Pictures (Images) of HIV Rash

candida infection.image

Picture 2 : Armpit rash HIV- The image below shows a candida infection.

Photo Source : www.healcure.org

The blistery type of rash that can appear with HIV rash.photo

Figure 3 : HIV rash on face- The blistery type of rash that can appear with HIV rash.
Photo Source : insidetheclinic.com


The rash on the hands is a blotchy raised area.image
Image 4 : HIV rash on hands- The rash on the hands is a blotchy raised area.
Picture Source : mddk.com


HIV rash on arms.picture
Figure 5 : HIV rash on arms- This rash is evident when looking close up.
Image Source : images.wisegeek.com


HIV rash on legs.picture
Picture 6 : HIV rash on legs– Here the raised irritated areas are spread out over the legs.
Phot Source : i.ytimg.com


a blotchy raised rash.image
Image 7 : Early HIV rash- This image shows a good example of a blotchy raised rash.
Picture Source : healthylifemed.com

HIV rash on chest.image

Picture 8 : HIV rash on chest- Here in this picture the patient has the petechial type of red spots.
Photo Source : www.ihealthblogger.com


HIV rash on the back.picture
Figure 9 : HIV rash on the back- In this picture you can see the more blistery type of rash which can be found anywhere on the body.
Image Source : diseasespictures.com


HIV rash on head.photo
Image 10 : HIV rash on head-Here the blotchy type of rash is seen covering the scalp.
Picture Source : www.bestonlinemd.com


HIV rash on the neck.picture
Photo 11 : HIV rash on the neck- In this image, the rash is almost difficult to see on the neck as it may be in early HIV rash.
Image Source : seeyadoctor.com


HIV rash on penis.image
Picture 12 : HIV rash on penis- All the types of rashes above may be seen in any part of the body including the penile shaft.
Photo Source : itchyrash.files.wordpress.com


HIV rash on the black skin.picture
Image 13 : HIV rash on the black skin- As you can see the color of the rash itself tend to change with different skin color tones.
Picture Source : www.ihealthblogger.com

HIV rash on abdomen.photo

Figure 14 : HIV rash on abdomen- The abdomen in this picture is noted to have red blotchy areas which could be diagnosed as HIV rash.
Image Source : 1.bp.blogspot.com


  1. https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/education-materials/fact-sheets/22/60/hiv-and-rash
  2. https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/staying-healthy-with-hiv-aids/potential-related-health-problems/opportunistic-infections/
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/livingwithhiv/opportunisticinfections.html
  4. http://www.aidsinfonet.org/fact_sheets/view/500
  5. http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/hiv-opportunistic-infections

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