Can a skin specialist diagnose a rash as an HIV rash?


Quick Answer

HIV seroconversion rash is a common symptom of early HIV infection that must be diagnosed by a qualified medical professional, such as a family physician or a dermatologist, says Johns Hopkins University. Aestheticians and skincare specialists could potentially identify HIV seroconversion rash, but they are generally not diagnosticians.

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HIV seroconversion is the process that takes place within the body of a person infected with HIV within several weeks of contracting the disease, explains Johns Hopkins University. During this time, the infected person is highly contagious and can spread HIV to others through unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing needles and direct contact with the bodily fluids of the infected. One of the most common symptoms of early HIV infection is called HIV seroconversion rash.

HIV seroconversion rash typically appears as a flat, red area on the skin that is covered with many small bumps, states UC San Diego Health System. Approximately 90 percent of HIV infected individuals experience the skin changes caused by HIV seroconversion rash at some point after infection. HIV seroconversion rash is part of a cluster of potential symptoms of primary HIV infection, such as fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, nausea and headache, states Mayo Clinic. During this time, the body produces HIV antibodies as it converts itself from HIV negative to HIV positive.

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