Most of the time, you cannot tell that you have acquired HIV until it’s too late – like when your immune system has weakened. However, there are times that you will develop a rash on your skin called maculopapular rash, which should alert you to have it checked immediately especially if you notice the rash looks a little “raised” as that is how the typical HIV rash looks like. And through tests, your doctor can find out if your rash is indeed an HIV rash and from there, a positive diagnosis for HIV can be drawn.
The appearance of HIV rash indicates that your white blood cell is dropping. You may notice the rash right after the infection has spread or it could be around 2-3 weeks from the time of infection, but you may also get it at the later time.
One thing is certain though is that your immune system is weakening and it’s trying to fight against it; hence, the rash.
Because of its incurable nature, you are always advised to use protection, but in the event that the HIV rash has already appeared, the only thing you can do now is to take your medications so as not to aggravate your immune system further.
But how do you know that the rash that appeared on your skin is an HIV rash and not an ordinary rash? Below are the symptoms of HIV rash and HIV:
1. Rashes that are scaly and brown to dark red in color appear in the genitals area, elbows, and hands though it can appear in any skin areas.
2. Scary-looking mouth ulcers
3. Rashes are accompanied by fever, diarrhea, weight loss, sweats, memory problem, and headache.
4. HIV rash may be accompanied by skin rash
5. Warts, blisters, herpes, sores may also appear
What do you do if your skin rash is tested to be an HIV rash?
While there is nothing you can do to remove HIV from your system, there are antiretroviral drugs you can take to slow down the progression of your HIV into becoming AIDS. As for the HIV rash, doctors typically prescribe over-the-counter medications for relief. Although the rashes, blisters, and ulcers look scary, it typically only last for 1-2 weeks and most of the time, it is not a cause of a concern.
What now if you have been diagnosed to be HIV positive?
No person can ever take such news lightly because this is a life-altering situation. Though the possibility of you denying it or going into depression is high, the fact remains that you have HIV. The earlier you accept your situation, the better off you will be in the long run.
So what do you do?
Practice safe sex. This should be one of your important objectives. Though it may be too late for you now, for your partner it is not.
Makeover your lifestyle and diet. Because your immune system is now compromised due to the virus, it is important that you exercise regularly, avoid processed food, maintain regular check up routine, and take your vitamins and medications religiously, because the quality of your life right now will affect how fast or how slow your body is going to deteriorate.
Educate, Accept, and Move on. There is no point in wallowing yourself in regret for the things you did not do; it’s not going to take the HIV back. Instead, you can join support groups with fellow HIV patients for guidance.