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Bruises which appear to be unrelated to any trauma or are larger or more severe than normal can occur in HIV infection. This may be associated with other problems such as frequent nose bleeds or bleeding from the gums when brushing teeth.


The cause is usually the result of a low number of certain blood cells (platelets) which are essential for normal clotting. Low platelets (thrombocytopenia) may be caused by the direct effects of HIV or certain drug treatments on the bone marrow, or by a range of illnesses including lymphoma, MAI, leishmaniasis and other infections and tumours.

What to do

It is important to seek urgent medical advice as thrombocytopenia carries a risk of internal bleeding. AZT and possibly other anti-HIV drugs may be very effective in treating HIV-related thrombocytopenia. If the condition is caused by underlying infections or tumours, treating these will be an important part of alleviating the problem. If the condition is drug-induced, the problematic therapy should be reviewed.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.