- What is HIV?
- How can HIV affect the skin? What skin conditions can it cause?
- How likely are people with HIV to suffer from skin problems?
- Why do people with HIV suffer from skin conditions?
- What exactly are HIV skin lesions?
- Which specialists treat skin conditions?
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that significantly weakens the body's immune system. The virus' attack on the immune system results in one finding it more difficult to have the ability to fight off infections and disease.
HIV can result in various different skin conditions, such as rashes, sores and lesions. In fact, such skin conditions can often be the first symptoms present of HIV in the primary stage of this disease. However, skin conditions in HIV patients can also be indicative of disease progression as cancers and infections take hold.
HIV skin problems will mainly fall into the following three categories:
1. skin cancers
2. skin infections (e.g. fungal, bacterial, viral or parasitic)
It is estimated that up to 90 per cent of HIV patients will, at some point, develop skin rashes, skin infections, or skin cancers of some sort after being diagnosed with HIV.
As a direct result of the HIV virus causing the patient's immune system to gradually become weaker and weaker, skin-related germs can get into one's system more easily, and can thus lead to skin problems.
HIV lesions are, in medical terms, defined as abnormal skin growths that appear on one's skin that are directly caused by the HIV virus.
Dermatologists are the medical specialists responsible for managing and treating skin problems.