Unilateral Acute HIV Rash in 2 Different Locations?
Doc, I had unprotected vaginal sex about 3 times on New Years Eve (alcohol involved). Approx day 21 I had right upper neck pain and swollen right jaw joint that lasted a day. Attributed this to my semi-regular right neck problems I have in that exact spot and the crappy pillow I have right now. Day or two later I stepped out of the shower to find noticable rash had appeared on my left armpit and left groin area. Armpit rash was dark pink and a little smaller than the palm of my hand. Groin rash was patchy/speckled like, much smaller, and also dark pink. Most were non-round patches the size of a quarter or smaller with some pinhead size dots mixed in. Groin rash was concentrated on left groin/inner thigh but extended upwards to the beltline, outwards to the left buttock, centrally on the beltline to the bellybutton, and with a couple splotches on the right lower stomach, right lower side, and left lower side. All rashes were smooth and never turned darker in color. Went to the dermatologist and explained my Acute HIV symptom concerns. He understood my concerns but felt it was an alergic (allergic) reaction of some sort and that the underarm and groin rashes were the same thing even though they looked different in shape. Gave me some 5mg Clarinex to take once a day combined with Betamethasone Valerate Cream twice a day. After a couple days the rash greatly reduced and now at 7 days is almost completely gone. Had a rapid HIV test at day 26 which was negative. Have given blood for a PCR test whose results I will get late this week. Have had no other acute HIV symptoms (fever, fatigue, etc.). Understand you would consider me low risk, it's just my big anxiety is over getting the jaw pain and rash (I NEVER get rashes) and the timing of getting them. Have you ever heard of a one sided HIV rash in two very seperate and distinct spots? My understanding is it can occur almost anywhere and in a variety of forms but this is not where it is classicly located.
HIV never causes rash as the only symptom. ARS rash appears only in combination with other symptoms, especially fever, sore throat, and usually enlarged lymph nodes. And a dermatologist's opinion is definitely valid -- certainly more accurate than any opinion from a distant sources like this forum.
The timing is indeed just a coincidence with your new years even sexual adventures. Look at it logically. As a guess, a couple million people in the US get new allergic rash each month; and a few million have new unprotected sexual encounters each month. It stands to reason that both things happen to a lot of people, simply on a random basis.
Anyway, assuming you're in the US or other industrialized country, and if your partners are not injection drug users or immigrants from countries with high HIV rates (or a few other obvious high risk factors), the chance any of them has HIV is near zero.
Since you're nervous about HIV, have a blood test for reassurance purposes. It will be negative. While you're at it, your sexual lifestyle suggests you should also have routine STD testing -- urine tests for gonorrhea or chlamydia and a syphilis blood test.
But no worries about your rash. Whatever the cause, it isn't HIV.
Thank you very much for your comments and reassurance. You were correct in your assumptions. This happened in the US, I am a white male, and she was a white female from around Dallas (not to sound racist, I've just read the disproportionate infection numbers of minorities, especially blacks in this country). I have no reason to believe she was an injection drug user. As for the rash, I was just very freaked out since as I said I NEVER get rashes, but will admit I just moved to Puerto Rico and have had a couple of colleges already tell me how they and their family have gotten new rashes since coming here. Also reassuring is what I've read about classical ARS rash locations (upper back, chest, neck, and/or face) and description (slightly raised in texture and spread evenly bilaterally on both sides of the body). So, I apologize for you having to respond to yet another low risk scenario. But for my education and the education of others, have you ever heard or seen an ARS rash that was concentrated on one side of the body and/or in the two distinct locations of Underarm and/or Groin? Thank you greatly for your time and patience. You and the other doctors provide a great service to us all.
And yes, Doc, you are correct also in getting checked out for other stuff. I've had a full STD panel done and am waiting on the results. This has been a life changing experience for me that I will never let happen again. If all comes out well, I will quit drinking for at least 6 months and reasses from there not to mention the renewal of my faith and religion. Not to judge anyone but myself, but I've realized how much time I've wasted and poor decisions I've made because of years of partying and drinking too much and what a poor life I've lead for a long time in terms of my faith. This experience has forced me to realize what things are important in life and how easily I could throw away all the gifts I've been given. Something for others who read this to maybe think about as well. Thanks again and God bless you all.
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