Are my skin problems because of HIV?

Are problems with the skin like spots/warts/rashes common in people with HIV?

I was diagnosed 6 years ago and I keep having outbreaks of spots, and patches of dry skin. This is really getting me down!
Skin problems used to be a common symptom in HIV positive people before there was effective HIV treatment (ART). This is because skin problems were one of the first symptoms as HIV damages the immune system.
With ART, most people get a good CD4 response that means that skin problems related to are now less common. Problems that developed before starting ART often resolve as your CD4 count gets stronger.
But HIV isn’t the whole explanation because HIV negative people also commonly have skin problems, including rashes, warts and spots.
If your HIV doctor can’t resolve these problems then ask to be referred to a skin specialist, The specialist will look at your skin problems and test for other causes that may have nothing to do with HIV.
If the specialist doctor cannot explain the cause (no changes in diet, washing powder, allergies etc), then you could consider switching HIV treatment to see if it makes a difference.
Several HIV drugs can cause rash as a side effect and sometimes this can be serious.

What is the difference between 3rd generation and 4th generation HIV test?

The 3rd generation tests look for antibodies (the body’s immune response), 4th generation tests look for both antigens (proteins from the virus itself) as well as antibodies. This means the fourth generation test is more accurate in a shorter time as it does not only rely on the speed at which the body can generate an immune response.
As far as the numbers are concerned. Anything below 0.25 is negative. No-one will get 0. Your result of 0.06 means you do not have HIV.

But according to WHO research test reveals..

“Fourth generation assays for the detection of HIV-1 p24 antigen and HIV-1/2 antibodies have the potential to identify infected individuals earlier in the disease course, including individuals in the seroconversion phase (window period characterised by presence of HIV-1 p24 antigen and incomplete HIV-1/2 antibodies) and acute infection (characterised by presence of HIV nucleic acid and/or HIV-1 p24 antigen but not HIV-1/2 antibodies). These assays are generally of superior seroconversion sensitivity to assays of earlier generations. Therefore, they should be considered as the first-line (screening) assay where feasible.

However, recent data show that the HIV-1 antigen detection component of some fourth generation assays may be lacking in sensitivity.”


How Soon Can I Get Tested for STDs After Unprotected Sex for HIV (HIV Antibody Test Method)?

How Long Should I Wait?
1-3 Months
Why That Time-Frame?

The average incubation period for HIV (Antibody) is 25 days to 2 months. If you get tested before this time has elapsed, it is recommended that you test again to confirm your results once the incubation period has passed.

If I Test Positive,
Do I Need to Get Retested After Treatment?

It is advised to retest to confirm your result. Seek treatment immediately if you test positive for HIV.

The Right Time to Test for STDs

The timing for when to get STD tested varies depending on the sexually transmitted disease because the incubation time in everyone’s system varies.


HIV-1 and HIV-2


HIV-1 and HIV-2 are the two main types of HIV.

HIV-1 is the most common widespread type of virus worldwide while HIV-2, a less prevalent or in other words less infectious and less pathogenic (disease-causing) type as they progresses more slowly, is found principally in western Africa, Mozambique and Angola and rarely found elsewhere.

There are 2 major types of the human immunodeficiency virus namely HIV-1, which was discovered FIRST, is the most widespread type worldwide.

HIV-2 is more than 55% genetically different from HIV-1. Due to this genetic difference, HIV-1 and HIV-2 antigens are distinct enough that if a test is developed only to detect HIV-1, it will not reliably detect HIV-2.

However, tests which are sensitive to both types of virus have been developed. All the third-generation, fourth-generation and rapid tests which are listed in the following sections are sensitive to HIV-2 antibodies.

HIV-2 is most common in western Africa and is becoming more common in India, although numbers there are still relatively small. Small numbers of cases have also been seen in Portugal, France, other European countries including the UK and the Americas, largely in individuals of west African origin or their sexual partners.

Should a laboratory not usually use a test which is sensitive to HIV-2, but the person testing has lived in a country where HIV-2 is common (or has a sexual partner from one of those countries), it is important to use a different test for this person. Moreover, if a person has clinical signs of HIV infection (e.g. recurrent opportunistic infections) but does not test positive to a test which is sensitive only to HIV-1, then testing specifically for HIV-2 would be appropriate.

Each major type of virus can be further broken down into groups, which themselves can be subdivided into clades or subtypes. HIV-1 comprises groups M (main), O (outlier), and N (non-M or O). Screening tests in developed countries were originally developed to identify the most common HIV subtype in those regions – group M, clade B. In addition, third- and fourth-generation ELISA antibody tests are reliably able to detect group O virus, and the full range of group M subtypes.