Does HIV Cause a Skin Rash?


Quick Answer

Acute HIV can cause a skin rash, according to Mayo Clinic. During the early symptomatic HIV infection stage, shingles may occur. If HIV is left untreated, it typically progresses to AIDS in roughly 10 years, and AIDS may cause skin rashes or bumps.

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In addition to a rash, other symptoms of acute HIV include headache, fever, muscle aches and joint pain, notes Mayo Clinic. HIV may also cause a sore throat and swollen lymph glands, which are especially prevalent on the neck. Within one to two months after being infected by HIV, most people experience symptoms similar to the flu. This illness usually lasts for a few weeks. During this initial stage of the disease, the amount of virus in the bloodstream is especially high. However, the symptoms may be mild enough to go unnoticed.

Along with shingles, other symptoms that may happen during the early symptomatic HIV infection stage include fever, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and diarrhea, states Mayo Clinic. Weight loss or an oral yeast infection may also occur.

In addition to skin rashes or bumps, symptoms of AIDS include soaking night sweats, chronic diarrhea and recurring fever, according to Mayo Clinic. AIDS may also cause unusual lesions or white spots to appear in the mouth and on the tongue. Other symptoms of AIDS include weight loss and persistent, unexplainable fatigue.

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