What Is an HIV Maculopapular Rash?

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DrEd explains that an HIV maculopapular rash is a red skin rash typically found on the face, limbs, hands or trunk that is characterized by many tiny raised bumps. Often one of the early symptoms of HIV infection, a maculopapular rash does not itch or become irritated like many other similar rashes.

DrEd indicates that a maculopapular rash typically lasts for two to three weeks before healing. While it is most common on the trunk and hands, DrEd relates that a maculopapular rash can also present itself in the mouth of a patient as ulcers or as sores on the genitalia.

According to PatientPlus, other early symptoms of HIV infection include fevers, night sweats, headaches, sore throats and lethargy. While a maculopapular rash can be an early sign of HIV infection, PatientPlus explains that it can also be present for a number of other illnesses, including mononucleosis, toxoplasmosis, rubella, influenza and gonococcal infection. A person's HIV status is determined by using blood, urine or saliva testing to measure antibodies or antigen levels in the body. PatientPlus recommends that tests should be conducted one to three months after any behavior that puts a patient at risk for transmission, such as unprotected sex or intravenous drug use.