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This is a common problem in HIV and normally occurs as a patchy red, flaky rash especially on the face and neck. It may be associated with generalised dryness of the skin and itching.


Fungal infections, seborrhoeic dermatitis or eczema.

What to do

As a general rule for dry skin and seborrhoeic dermatitis/eczema avoid using soap and biological washing powders, and instead use emollients (moisturisers) such as aqueous cream as soap substitutes. Alternatively add oils to the bath water and apply plenty of emollients/moisturisers to the skin after bathing. Anti-fungal creams alone or in combination with mild topical steroids may be helpful but strong steroid creams should be avoided unless used under the supervision of a doctor. Similar treatments are available for scalp involvement.

A type of HIV-associated dermatitis characterized by hard papules in the hair follicles and pink, scaly skin, called pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP), may be treated with antiretroviral therapy. Immune system restoration usually leads to relief of the condition.

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 It may have been superseded by more recent developments.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.