red, pink, brown or purplish blotches on and/or under the skin

Question

Dear Doctors,

In their FAQ, CDC refer to the following symptoms of ARS:

red, pink, brown or purplish blotches on and/or under the skin

I feel it is a bit broad. Do you know what they are referring to, what causes these blotches, and what they look like? When are they likely to occur? Is it the rash? Are they permanent?

Thank you. PaulB

Answer

That description is so non-specific it is almost worthless. The key parameter is a transient skin rash occuring after an exposure with a risk for HIV transmission. In that setting the rash is of some help but a complete history and laboratory evaluation is recommended. KH