Sun exposure & HIV

Question

One of the immediate changes in my body's working when I became HIV+ was that I went from dsomeone who had hardy skin and rarely burned to not being able to be in the sun without sun poisoning, itching rash. Can intense sunblock help this? I hate never to go on a boat or swim again!

Answer

In my experience increased sun sensitivity in the setting of HIV infection is more often due to use of drugs (such as sulfa antibiotics) that directly cause photosensitivity. HIV can cause all sorts of skin problems and so a small minority of patients may experience an exagerated response to UV Light injury to the skin from sun exposure. Heavy use of skin block usually would be helpful in that situation. KH