HIV Rashes in Women

HIV Rashes in Women

One of the early symptoms of HIV that might develop within the first two months after onset of the infection with the virus is the development of an HIV rash. These rashes resemble normal skin lesions, and can appear anywhere on the body. This article provides some information about these rashes, their symptoms and treatment in females.
The human immunodeficiency virus (or HIV) is a virus, which when enters the body, can cause a series of infections and other complications, that may end up in AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). This is one of the deadliest diseases known to the human race, which, unfortunately, has no cure as yet. HIV/AIDS doesn't differentiate between genders and affects both men and women equally. The common modes of spread of this aggressive virus is through unprotected sex and sharing hypodermic needles. It can also be passed from the affected mother to her child. The virus remains dormant for a specific period of time, after which its presence is observed by the symptoms like fever, persistent cold and cough, headaches, skin rashes, etc. The development of an HIV rash is one of the first signs that indicates that the virus has attacked the body. The infection is usually mild in the initial stages, but increases in intensity as time progresses. The appearance of these rashes in women and men are almost similar.


Most common infections that could cause rashes in individuals affected by HIV include Kaposi's sarcoma lesions, and infections like herpes, shingles, and Molluscum contagiosum.
  • One of the primary symptoms that is observed in women is the occurrence of sores or rashes on the face and trunk. They may also appear on the hands and feet. Sometimes, when the virus spreads to the other regions in the body, it can cause an eruption of ulcers, mostly in the genital region and inside the mouth.
  • In case the rash has turned severe, then it can result in the peeling of skin, in the genital region, and other places where the sores have appeared. In some cases, the sores may also be filled with pus.
  • Another symptom is the appearance of red patchy skin, which may cause itching. The patch may also turn darker, and is usually leathery to touch. It can show up on any part of the body. Some women may also observe pimple-like eruptions on their torso, arms, back, and feet.
  • In some cases, the sores and blisters (specially in the genital region) may cause a burning sensation. The rash in this region may resemble folliculitis and hives.
  • Other HIV symptoms accompanying the rash are persistent diarrhea, oral thrush, high-grade fever, swelling in the lymph nodes, fatigue, etc. Generalized body weakness, loss of appetite, and nausea are also observed in affected women.

The duration of these rashes is approximately for a couple of days, and can last for about 2 weeks or more. It is important to remember that the rashes do not appear in every person, who has tested positive. A few people may experience the eruption of skin rashes, which is usually mistaken as an allergic reaction to HIV medications. Whether the HIV rash is chronic or acute, administering treatment will prevent it from becoming severe. However, as there is no complete cure for HIV as yet, the aim of the treatment is to reduce the severity of the symptoms, and controlling its spread. Doctors may also prescribe ointments and oral medications to reduce the irritation and itchy feeling caused due to these rashes. Practicing safe sex, using sterile needles, and undergoing tests, etc., are some of the preventive measures. Since the virus can also be spread through blood transfusions, it is essential to get yourself tested and also to use blood from reliable sources.

Exercising proper precautions to prevent the spread of HIV can prevent the occurrence of this pandemic and curb its spread.

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