One of the early symptoms of HIV infection is a rash or rashes that appear on the penis and anywhere on the body. A rash caused by HIV itches greatly, and can appear as a flat red patch with small red bumps. It is vital to know what an HIV rash looks like so as to help a person can seek immediate medical assistance to increase chances of survival.
Symptoms of HIV Rash
An HIV rash typically appears during the acute stage of infection and can last 2 to 4 weeks after a person has been exposed to HIV. The rash can last for 1 to 2 weeks as the body tries to combat the infection. The rash often appears as a red area of skin with tiny itchy bumps which may also be painful. Other accompanying symptoms may include flu-like indicators like:
- joint and muscles pain
- sore throat
- swollen glands
Several possible causes of HIV rash may include:
- HIV infection
- Side effects of HIV medication
- other infections
- other medications
A rash caused by HIV can spread over large areas of the body, including the penis. The rash consists of small round, red bumps that may be raised or flat. The bumps may have a crusty, white look or they may appear like small scabs.
If left untreated, HIV will keep damaging the immune system. A person may not experience any other symptoms from the virus during this time. This may mean they do not develop a rash. Some people may develop ulcers that appear in their mouth, the esophagus, in or around the anus, or on the penis.
As HIV progresses, sometimes over many years, it can greatly weaken the immune system leading to symptoms like:
- weight loss
- night sweats
- recurrent infections that last for long
- skin problems
- chronic diarrhea
- deadly infections
When to see a doctor
Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis if you develop a rash on your penis, especially when the rash is accompanied by flu-like symptoms. If a doctor suspects that a person has HIV, they will order an HIV test using blood sample.
Results may come back either negative if no infection is present or positive if there is evidence of an infection. Early detection increases chances of surviving HIV. Many people still live a normal life even after treatment.
Other Conditions that Mimic HIV Rash
There are other possible causes for a rash on the penis that are less serious than HIV.
- Pubic lice
- Yeast infection or another fungal infection
- Contact dermatitis or allergic reaction on the skin
Sources: healthtap.com, medicalnewstoday.com, pinterest.com
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