Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Do rashes caused by HIV itch?"
I had a scare with HIV exposure that I can't have tested yet (because enough time hasn't passsed) so I'm pretty much just watching and waiting. Then I came down with a rash - it's mild, but it's there, and it itches. Do HIV rashes itch, or is it probably something different? It's on my thighs, for what it's worth.
Anytime patient's have an HIV scare, it is a cause for a lot of distress. Unfortunately, there is no magic way to test for it before a few months after exposure. After an initial infection with HIV, 90% of patients that have contracted the virus go through the acute retroviral syndrome (or ARS). This phase is the first symptomatic phase of HIV and appears between 2 weeks and a month after exposure. Typical symptoms include fever, muscle aches, a rash, headache, night sweats, enlarged lymph nodes, and a sore throat. patients often say they thought they had the flu. While it is possible that this rash you have is a part of the syndrome, the lack of any other of those listed symptoms makes this less likely (though not impossible). I suggest that you present this issue to you primary care physician. This way you can have a more detailed conversation about the different signs of the acute retroviral syndrome so that you can better recognize the signs. In the mean time, remember to always use condoms during every sexual encounter. In a few months, you will be able to have the HIV screening test. Good luck.
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