Rashes and skin discoloration are common occurrence. The body can become more sensitive to substances, even if you previously didn’t have allergies. Treatment for AIDS involves several medications, some of which can cause skin irritation and sensitivity. The rash may be reddish or purple and flat or with small bumps. Rashes can show up anywhere, including the palms.
Other viral infections such as herpes and shingles (reactivated chickenpox) can affect AIDS patients. Herpes often appears as sores in and around the mouth. These sores are red and white, painful, and infectious. Sometimes these are referred to as “cold sores.”
Shingles can happen to anyone who previously had chickenpox. Chickenpox appears as red, itchy blisters on the skin. These lesions are contagious to people who are not immunized to the virus. While most people recover from chickenpox, however, the virus never completely goes away. It becomes inactivated or “latent” until the immune system is weakened. The reactivated virus causes rashes known as shingles, which is more painful and lasts for several weeks as compared to chickenpox rashes.
Rapid weight loss
While some people would be excited to drop several kilograms in a short period of time, this is a bad sign for people with infections. Rapid weight loss is a tell-tale sign of serious diseases such as tuberculosis, AIDS, and cancer.
Factors that contribute to weight loss include stress, poor nutrition, and dehydration. People who are sick tend to be bedridden or need to be quarantined. Because of this, they typically cannot exercise to maintain their muscle mass. Additionally, many medications can cause nausea and loss of appetite. When HIV infection progresses into AIDS, the body burns more calories than normal. This leads to wasting and weight loss, which can further weaken the immune system and body.
Swollen lymph nodes
Generally, when the body encounters an infection, our lymph nodes feel warm and get slightly larger. Commonly felt lymph nodes are the ones on the neck below the jawline. Other lymph nodes are located near the armpit and groin. These nodes can be felt when we are sick because this is where white blood cells are stored and lymph fluid is filtered. Usually, the nodes closest to the site of infection become swollen. For example, a throat infection will present with swollen nodes around the neck rather than in the armpit or groin area.