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Avatar universal

acute viral syndrome does it present like Chicken pox lesion from HIV exposure

Hello Doc.

How are you, I am writing you today because I read your reply to man of fear and I just wanted to ask you some questions.  
I went to the CDC website and they have a syndrome called acute viral syndrome that can mimick lesions or rashes but they stated it happens with the first month of HIV exposure or could be atributted to many diseases initially.

My question is:
1.) with HIV exposure with protected sex and just kissing a person that had HIV and was on antiviral therapy, if a person had acute viral syndrome that presented with chicken pox like lesion on their back chest and face and neck, is this the form of acute viral syndrome symptoms due to possible HIV infection within a week of exposure?

2.) My next question is what should a person do if he/she has acute viral symptoms of having sex (protected sex) with a person that was HIV+ and developed acute viral syndrome or chicken pox lesions a week after such exposure?

3.)I know you mentioned in the reply to man of fear that acyclovir should not be taken.   What is harmful about acyclovir in this acute viral syndrome symptom state?   Have you seen any symptoms of chicken pox lesion on any HIV patients that have been exposed to a person with HIV a week after protected sex before?

4.) My last question is how long does the chicken pox lesions or acute viral syndrome last, I have lesion on my chest back and face and on my upper arms for 4 days now.  I have been applying calamine lotion for about 2 days and I am going to a dermatologist tomorrow for a biopsy to see what it is I have.  I just hope it is not the HIV virus and when I heard about the CDC information of acute viral syndrome that can happen to some people who may have been exposed to HIV infected persons, I really freaked out. I felt better reading you comments to man of fear but I just had to ask these specific questions.

Thank you doctor for answering my questions, I am not a person with multiple sex partners I only had this one encounter with this one female that I found out later was HIV+ and she is taking antiviral medication for her HIV infection.   I did get an HIV test last week that was negative by rapid saliva test and a blood test.   I was not worried until I broke out in these lesion and read on the CDC website about acute viral syndrome.   I just do not want to have this symptom persist on my body and I am afraid of having the HIV virus behind this stupid protected sexual encounter.   I was HIV negative 4 days after the incident occured so how long should I wait before I have another HIV test?

I thank you for answering my questions and I appreciate you for hosting this site it is a great asset to answering questions that many people can really relate and open up and share things that sometimes can't be shared out of public scrutiny and fear of being looked at as a freak of nature.   Thank you Doctor for answering my questions and I looked forward to your commentary.
3 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
1) Acute HIV does not present with chickenpox or chickenpox-like skin rash, and anyway the symptoms described in the other thread started too soon to be due to HIV.

2) A person with fever or other symptoms that are unexplained, and that worries him or her, should see a health care provider.  The chance such symptoms are due to HIV depends a lot on the nature of the risk. In your case, the chance of catching HIV from the exposure you describe is zero or close to it.

3) Acyclovir would not have been harmful.  But nobody should self-treat with prescription drugs without medical advice; and the likelihood herpes explained his symptoms was zero.

4) You should not assume the skin lesions are due to chickenpox unless confirmed by a health care provider. And it sounds like you misread something. HIV itself does not cause skin lesions like those of chickenpox, and I'm sure the CDC website doesn't say that.

About timing of HIV testing, see many other website and search the threads here (and on the STD Forum) for "time to positive HIV test".  It usually takes 3-4 weeks for the test to become positive, sometimes 6-8 weeks, and rarely 3 months.  But given the nature of the encounter you describe, you likely don't need HIV testing at all - but follow the advice of your own provider.

Your partner should have told you she is HIV positive before she had sex with you, regardless of being on HIV drugs and regardless of planned condom use.

Finally, the whole story is so similar that I have to suspect you are the same person as man of fear.  Please, no more new threads.

Good luck-- HHH, MD
Avatar universal
After following this forum for a short period.  One of the things Dr. HHH will probably say is that you can search on "time to positive HIV test" to get more info on HIV testing.  He will probably say test @ 6 weeks and again @ 13 weeks since your partner was HIV+.
Avatar universal
Thanks Doc and everyone,

I went to the Dermatologist today and she diagnosed my skin lesions as Pityriasis Rosea.   I was so relieved by her diagnosis she did a biopsy to just confirm and gave me a corticosteroid injection and Cloderm cream for the my itchy sensitive spots twice per day and olux (clobetasol propionate foam 0.05%)  She said I should use this on the body lesions and skin areas that she noticed.   I had the descriptions wrong she said it was a christmas tree type pattern with a herald patch that is usually scaly and then 1 week later all spots of lesions form on the chest neck lower back and sometimes the face area and legs.   But the disease is self limiting which usually last about 2-6 weeks and sometimes shorter.  Also it has a low recurrence rate of 3% and noone really knows what causes it but they attribute it to a some HH7 virus or stress related occurences.   I have been majorly stressed out lately and I am just relieved by your response Doc and everyones contribution. I have been scared straight by this ordeal, I am just going to get married and settle down and raise a family and call it a day.  
This past week has been hell believe me and I would not wish it on anyone neither will I ever put myself in a situation like that ever again.   I feel so much better knowing now what the diagnosis is and that I can just relax and let this common benign skin disease end its course and learn a great life's lesson in the process.

Thank all of you for a good counseling and wise commentary.
I have learned a wise lesson and believe me I will not be forgetting this ever.   Thanks a million for this website of inforamtion.  Have a good day...by

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