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What Does HIV Look Like?

What Does HIV Look Like?

What does HIV look like on a man?

What does HIV look like? HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) refers to a form of infection that damages the immune system and could cause different health complications. It can occur to anyone and it has no cure; however, antiviral drugs are available to treat the infection. These antiviral drugs suppress the virus and prevent further spread and transmission.

The signs and symptoms of HIV are broadly similar, regardless of your gender. However, specific symptoms in each gender happen during the early and latter stages of the infection. So, what does HIV look like on a man? Consider the following:

Symptoms of acute HIV infection in men:

  • Acute HIV infection also refers to the initial stage of HIV. It is the period in which the body starts producing antibodies to attack and fight the virus. This period usually lasts 14 days in total.
  • The most prevalent symptoms in this phase are swollen lymph nodes and skin rashes. Red spots appear on the skin, which is not typical if the person has not been infected with the virus. These spots are painful and itchy at the same time.

Symptoms of chronic HIV infection in men:

  • During this stage, opportunistic infections develop and trigger different health severities. Alongside the emergence of this phase is a wide range of physical changes, all of which are extreme.
  • The most prevalent symptoms of this stage include severe weight loss, darkened skin, hollowing eyes, and the appearance of more skin rashes.
  • Additionally, symptoms of this stage also involve the anal and genital tract. These include penile ulcers, anal ulcers, rectal pain, and erectile dysfunction.


What does HIV look like on a woman?

As mentioned, men and women share some of the most common symptoms of HIV. However, there are other signs that only women experience. So, what does HIV look like on a woman?

Symptoms of acute HIV infection in women:

  • During the first stage of the infection, flu-like symptoms are what women usually experience. These symptoms typically last for two weeks.
  • Some of these symptoms are recognizable and easily determined since they develop on the skin surface. These include swollen lymph nodes and skin rashes. These rashes are skin inflammation, usually painful and stinging.

Symptoms of chronic HIV infection in women:

  • If there is no proper treatment, HIV in women can advance to AIDS. When this occurs, opportunistic infections develop. These infections pave the way for different health problems to occur.
  • The most common symptoms of this stage include vaginal discharge, burning sensation when urinating, pain during sex, vaginal sores, and fish-like odor of the female genital.
  • A woman’s reproductive tract is not an exemption from HIV complications. When the infection becomes more severe, the following occurs: (1) vaginal ulcer; (2) abnormal periods; (3) recurrent yeast infections; and (4) pelvic pain.


What do HIV lesions look like?

When it comes to physical symptoms, lesions or rashes are the most common occurrence during an HIV infection. But what do HIV lesions look like?

  • Scaly skin
  • Swelling skin
  • Swollen, itchy papules
  • Red or purple spots
  • Skin-colored bumps
  • Red or purple patches or nodules

The appearance of HIV lesions can also vary based on a person’s skin color. However, they are usually red and purple rashes, sometimes itchy and painful.

The main form of treatment for HIV skin lesions is antiviral drugs. If you suspect having HIV and experience these skin rashes or lesions, get tested immediately and take the needed medications if a positive result comes out.

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