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Acute HIV Rash

acute hiv rash 1

What is acute HIV rash? Rashes are common in people with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Studies suggest that 90% of people with the infection experience rash, ranging from mild to severe cases. Some of these rashes result from HIV acquisition, while some are after-effects of opportunistic infections caused by AIDS.

An acute HIV rash occurs in the primary stage of the infection. It usually appears as irritated skin, sometimes red or purple.

Rashes can be painful and itchy. Along with other symptoms, an early HIV rash is one of the first signs of HIV infection.

Besides HIV itself, other infections cause skin rashes. People diagnosed with HIV are more prone to having these infections, which can lead to severe cases of rashes. These include syphilis, molluscum contagiosum, herpes viruses, and Kaposi sarcoma. Since HIV can damage and weaken our immune system, these infections can emerge and bring about occurrences of rashes.

How long does HIV rash last?

Some symptoms of HIV vanish after a few weeks. However, it could not be the same case with an HIV rash. So, how long does HIV rash last?

An acute HIV rash can last for one to two weeks, alongside other flu-like symptoms. During the early stage of the infection, the body generates antibodies to fight the virus.

Seroconversion is a period where the body produces detectable levels of HIV antibodies. During this time, symptoms like fatigue, fever, sore throat, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and, more importantly, rashes occur. The skin condition is termed acute HIV rashes because the earliest stage of the infection is called the acute stage.

The use of HIV drugs can limit the capacity of the virus to replicate. Taking these antiviral drugs can lessen the impact of symptoms on the body. If the infection is detected early, the treatment is more manageable. It also allows HIV-positive people to control their symptoms, especially HIV rash.

HIV rash drugs

Thanks to advances in viral control and immune system preservation, treating skin conditions due to HIV has become more accessible and straightforward. For treating HIV rash, the most common form of treatment is medication. Over-the-counter drugs are available to reduce the itchiness and painful sensation of the condition. One of these medications includes hydrocortisone cream or diphenhydramine.

Additionally, antiviral drugs are also available to treat severe cases of rashes. These drugs need a prescription, so talk to your healthcare professional if such a skin condition occurs to you following an HIV diagnosis.

How to identify HIV rash

Skin conditions are identified by their appearance, especially in color. Since HIV rash is no different from any skin problem, it is easy to recognize the illness. Here are ways how to identify HIV rash:

  • Check on red or purple blotches and spots on your skin.
  • Rashes can appear everywhere. Make sure to locate inflammation in your body.
  • Pay attention to other symptoms that usually occur alongside HIV rashes. Example: fever, mouth sore, diarrhea, muscle pain, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, and body cramps.
  • Rashes are usually painful and itchy. Locate which part of your body experiences discomfort.

Get tested if you suspect acquiring HIV and experience spots and blotches on your skin. Some rashes result from allergic reactions; however, this skin condition can also result from HIV infection. Go to the nearest clinic and get yourself tested.

HIV drugs list

HIV treatment involves the usage of antiretroviral drugs. Some of these medications are a combination of two or more antiviral drugs and are classified according to different medicinal categories. Consider the following:

NRTIs (Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors)

  • Emtriva
  • Epivir
  • Retrovir
  • Viread
  • Ziagen


NNRTIs (Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors)

  • Edurant
  • Intelence
  • Pifeltro
  • Sustiva
  • Viramune IR
  • Viramune XR


  • What is Edurant (Rilpivirine)? Acting as an antiretroviral medicine, Edurant assists people who have HIV. Since there is still no cure for the infection, Edurant can be used as therapy. This medication is available for patients 12 years old and above. Its generic name is Rilpivirine. How does Edurant work? As a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor …

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  • What is Intelence (Etravirine)? Also known by its brand label Etravirine, Intelence refers to a form of ART drug (antiretroviral) used to provide relief and medical alleviation for HIV. The medicine is usually utilized with other ART medications, comprising its effectiveness in the field. It applies to individuals who are HIV positive, especially adults and younger children …

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Integrase Inhibitors

  • Isentress
  • Isentress HD
  • Tivicay
  • Vocabria


  • What is Tivicay (Dolutegravir)? Controlling HIV has been made easier through the use of ARVs (antiretrovirals), including Tivicay. Also known as Dolutegravir, this medicine is able to provide medical therapy from HIV. It is appropriate for people regardless of age, whether it be children, adolescents, or adults. Tivicay is the brand name Dolutegravir. The drug comes …

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  • What is Isentress (Raltegravir)? Specifically designed to treat people with HIV, Isentress is an HIV drug available by prescription. Isentress is the brand name of Raltegravir. The drug comes in the form of 400mg and 600mg tablets. It is also available under the name Zepdon. How does Isentress work? Isentress is part of a group of medicines called …

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Protease Inhibitors

  • Aptivus
  • Lexiva
  • Prezista
  • Reyataz

Pharmacokinetic Enhancers

  • Norvir
  • Tybost

Entry/Attachment Inhibitors

  • Fuzeon
  • Rukubio
  • Selzentry
  • Trogarzo

Fixed-Dose Combination Drugs

  • Atripla
  • Biktarvy
  • Cabana
  • Cimduo
  • Combivir
  • Complera
  • Descovy
  • Delstrigo
  • Dovato
  • Epzicom
  • Evotaz
  • Genvoya
  • Juluca
  • Kaletra
  • Odefsey
  • Prezcobix
  • Symtuza
  • Symfi
  • Symfi Lo
  • Stribild
  • Triumeq
  • Truvada



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