By Gary M. White, MD

Primary HIV infection may manifest itself as a diffuse exanthema, several weeks after infection.


A maculopapular rash, fever, pharyngitis, and ulcers of the anal, oral, or genital mucosa are common. The exanthem often appears after 2-3 days of fever and lasts for 5-8 days, after which the patient recovers. The skin lesions are most numerous on the upper torso, especially about the collar region. The most typical lesion is a discrete, oval, scaly papule. There may be focal hemorrhage in the lesions. There is a resemblance to pityriasis rosea, but with less scale.


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