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Does Shingles Mean I Have Hiv

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Shingles Is It Always Related To Hiv


Im just 29 years old and just married, i’ve got diagnosed shingles since yesterday.

Actually since last week it starts from back ache, and continue to upper arm and fingers . I went to general doctor and she said i had muscle pain, gave me Voltaren gel. After i applied that day, the skin suddenly become red and burn, and the next day it becomes bubbles . So i went to KL and got that diagnose! Starting the treatment.Anyway, everytime i move my arm is really painful. Doctor says its not contagious.

As i read all about shingles, mostly related to HIV, is that true ? Can shingles cure 100%? Is that mean i also have HIV ? Im so scared. What will happen with my life next ?

Pls share your thought here.


  • Hi Merry,

    Thanks for your information.

    Now i relieved. Frankly, i was so desperate, the dr said that this shingles mostly caught older ppl above 50yo. All questions coming into my mind and my husband as well.

    How could you survive with the pain if you got it every 3-5 weeks, must be so painful !

    Is there anything i can do to avoid this in future ? Im surely doesnt wanna have this for second time.


  • 6 years ago

    Hi Lia!

    My suggestion to avoid getting recurring Herpes Zoster-Shingles is to Google Lysine Arginine diet and follow the high Lysine, low Arginine diet. Arginine feeds the Herpes virus and Lysine prevents it. Eat a well balanced diet with fruits and vegetables and protein. Get plenty of rest and try not to stress.

    Best wishes

  • Is The Zostavax Vaccine Still Being Used

    Yes. The CDC, however, recommends Zostavax for adults age 60 and older, but not routinely for people aged 50 to 59. Zostavax is given as a single-dose shot versus the two-dose shot for Shingrix. Zostavax is less effective than Shingrix in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia .

    You can consider Zostavax if you are allergic to Shingrix or if Shingrix is unavailable because of supply shortage and you want some immediate protection from a possible case of shingles and/or postherpetic neuralgia. Because its a weakened live vaccine, it may be dangerous if you have cancer, HIV, or take steroids, chemotherapy or other medications that suppress your immune system. Ask your healthcare provider if the Zostavax vaccine is an option for you.

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    What Are The Complications Of Shingles

    After the shingles rash has disappeared, you might continue to have nerve pain in that same area. Postherpetic neuralgia can last for months or years and become quite severe.

    More than 10% of people who get shingles develop postherpetic neuralgia. Researchers dont know why some people get postherpetic neuralgia and others dont. It may be that nerves become more sensitive or that the virus may be invading and damaging the central nervous system.

    Other complications include:

    • Other types of nerve issues like numbness or itching.
    • A bacterial infection of the shingles rash.
    • Eye and ear inflammation if the rash is near these organs.

    How Is Shingles Diagnosed And Treated

    Herpes Virus Structure Stock Vector Art &  More Images of Anatomy ...

    If you think you might have shingles, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Its important to see your doctor no later than three days after the rash starts. The doctor will confirm whether you have shingles and can make a treatment plan. Most cases can be diagnosed from a visual examination. If you have a condition that weakens the immune system, your doctor may order a shingles test. Although there is no cure for shingles, early treatment with antiviral medications can help the blisters clear up faster and limit severe pain. Shingles can often be treated at home.

    Also Check: Pictures Of Shingles On Leg

    What Should You Expect If You Get Shingles

    Shingles can be a very painful condition. If you think you have the symptoms of shingles, see your healthcare provider right away. Starting antiviral medications early can ease your discomfort and end symptoms earlier.

    A better approach to shingles is to take action and do what you can to lessen your risk of getting it. If you’ve never had shingles in the past, talk to your healthcare provider about getting the shingles vaccine. If youve never had chickenpox, talk with your healthcare provider about getting the chickenpox vaccine.

    Why Does Shingles Appear Mostly On One Side Or In One Area Of Your Body

    The virus travels in specific nerves, so you will often see shingles occur in a band on one side of your body. This band corresponds to the area where the nerve transmits signals. The shingles rash stays somewhat localized to an area. It doesnt spread over your whole body. Your torso is a common area, as is your face.

    Read Also: Where To Get Shingles Vaccine

    Preventing The Virus Spreading

    If you have the shingles rash, do not share towels or flannels, go swimming, or play contact sports. This will help prevent the virus being passed on to someone who has not had chickenpox.

    You should also avoid work or school if your rash is weeping and cannot be covered.

    Chickenpox can be particularly dangerous for certain groups of people. If you have shingles, avoid:

    • women who are pregnant and have not had chickenpox before as they could catch it from you, which may harm their unborn baby
    • people who have a weak immune system, such as someone with HIV or AIDS
    • babies less than one month old, unless it is your own baby, in which case your baby should have antibodies to protect them from the virus

    Once your blisters have dried and scabbed over, you are no longer contagious and will not need to avoid anyone.

    Sudden Unexplained Weight Loss

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    National Human Genome Research Institute

    Weight loss is common in people living with HIV during the advanced stages of the disease.

    This type of weight loss is more than just a few poundsit’s a sudden, unexplained weight loss of 10% or more of a person’s body weight, in which both fat mass and lean muscle are lost.

    The condition is also called HIV wasting syndrome. It’s not as common today as it once was because antiretroviral drugs keep the virus suppressed and allow the immune system to rebuild itself. Wasting is mainly seen in people who have not been treated for HIV.

    The exact cause of HIV wasting is unknown, but it is thought that the constant inflammation caused by HIV makes the body burn energy faster and reduces testosterone levels .

    Other causes of wasting include malnutrition, chronic diarrhea, tuberculosis, and cancerall of which require urgent diagnosis and treatment.

    Also Check: How Long Shingles Vaccine Last

    Shingles Vaccine Reduces Your Risk Of Getting Shingles

    While there is no cure for shingles, getting the shingles vaccine can greatly reduce your risk of getting this disease.

    Shingles vaccine reduces risk

    The CDC recommends the shingles vaccine for healthy adults who are 50 years of age or older.

    If you think you may already have shingles, treatment is important. It can reduce your pain and how long the rash lasts.

    Find out how dermatologists diagnose and treat this condition at, Shingles: Diagnosis and treatment.

    3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Prevent Shingles: Get vaccinated. Page last reviewed July 23, 2018. Last accessed March 28, 2019.

    ImageGetty Images

    ReferencesCenters for Disease Control and Prevention . Prevent Shingles: Get vaccinated. Page last reviewed July 23, 2018. Last accessed March 28, 2019.

    Dooling KL, Guo A, et al. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018 67:103-8.

    Hiv And Herpes Zoster

    HIV indicator conditions are conditions or symptoms that occur more often in people with an underlying HIV infection than in people without an HIV infection. Herpes zoster is one of the HIV indicator conditions. If you have or have had Herpes zoster and have not been tested for HIV, it is advisable to ask your doctor or general practitioner for an HIV test. Find it difficult to ask for an HIV test? You may download a call card that will help you formulate your question.

    Read Also: Skin Rash Similar To Shingles

    What Is The Connection To Hiv

    People with HIV have been found to have higher rates of shingles than the general population. They are also at risk of experiencing complications as a result of shingles.

    HIV targets the immune system by depleting it of its CD4 T lymphocytes . CD4 cells are lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight off infections.

    While shingles can be triggered in adults with HIV at any CD4 count, the risk of infection is higher in people with lowered CD4 counts, as in less that 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood . Lowered CD4 counts are linked to untreated HIV and stage 3, or advanced, HIV. This is why shingles may indicate HIV since untreated HIV and stage 3 HIV are associated with a higher chance of developing shingles.

    A person with a compromised immune system is more susceptible to getting shingles. This includes people with untreated HIV and stage 3 HIV. This may have to do with depleted levels of CD4 cells, meaning the body is more vulnerable to infection.

    Who Should Not Be Vaccinated With Shingrix

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    You shouldnt receive the Shingrix vaccine if you:

    • Have ever had a severe allergy to this vaccine or any ingredient in this vaccine.
    • Are breastfeeding or pregnant.
    • Currently have shingles.
    • Are ill and have a high fever.
    • Have tested negative for immunity to varicella-zoster virus .

    Ask your healthcare provider if the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh any potential risks.

    Read Also: What Does The Shingles Virus Look Like

    Do You Need To Stay Away From Children People Who Are Pregnant Have Cancer Or Anyone With A Weak Immune System After You Get The Zostavax Vaccine

    According to the CDC, its safe to be around babies and young children, pregnant women or anyone with a weakened immune system after you get the Zostavax vaccine. Even though the Zostavax vaccine contains a weakened live varicella-zoster virus, the CDC says theres no documented case of a person getting chickenpox from someone who has received the Zostavax vaccine. And remember: You cant get shingles unless youve already had chickenpox.

    How Long Does A Shingles Outbreak Last

    It can take three to five weeks from the time you begin to feel symptoms until the rash totally disappears.

  • First, a few days before the rash appears, you may feel pain in an area on your skin. The pain is described as itching, burning, stabbing or shooting. This usually happens before the rash comes.
  • Next, the raised rash appears as a band or a patch, usually on one side of your body. The rash usually appears around your waistline or on one side of your face, neck, or on the trunk , but not always. It can occur in other areas including your arms and legs.
  • Within three to four days, the rash develops into red, fluid-filled, painful, open blisters.
  • Usually, these blisters begin to dry out and crust over within about 10 days.
  • The scabs clear up about two to three weeks later.
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    Should Tuberculosis And Hiv Both Be Treated At The Same Time

    If possible, TB treatment should be started first before starting ART. Therefore all patients should be screened for tuberculosis before ART is started. If the patient is already on ART when the diagnosis of tuberculosis is made, the anti-tuberculosis treatment should be added to the ART without delay.

    Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome

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    At times, shingles flares up after people with HIV start treatment. This is due to a mechanism called immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome, or IRIS. IRIS is a state of a hyperinflammatory response, a complication as a result of antiretroviral therapy , and usually happens within the first six months of treatment.

    If someone develops shingles shortly after beginning treatment for HIV, this may show that the immune system is responding to treatment by targeting specific viruses and bacteria in the body. This is known as immune restoration syndrome. If you suspect shingles after starting ART, talk to your doctor immediately to lower your chances of developing shingles-related complications.

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    Hiv Prevalence In Patients With Herpes Zoster

    Correspondence Address

    How to cite this article: Kar P K, Ramasastry C V. HIV prevalence in patients with herpes zoster. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2003 69:116-119




    Herpes zoster, due to reactivation of varicella-zoster virus infection, is associated with depression of immunity. Herpes zoster has been reported in various immunodeficiency states, in lymphoma/leukaemia and other cancers, after organ transplantation, and during chemotherapy., Before the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus , the development of herpes zoster was noted in homosexual men., Lately, results of sero-epidemiological studies have suggested that herpes zoster is associated with HIV infection.,

    The incubation period between HIV infection and the development of herpes zoster is, in most cases, several years,, but due to continuous decline in immunity, herpes zoster may appear shortly after seroconversion., Assuming herpes zoster is a part of the clinical spectrum of HIV infection, we speculated that zoster might be a pointer to declining immunity, although lesser than it would be in full blown acquired immunodeficiency syndrome . To test these hypotheses, we investigated the incidence of HIV seropositivity in men suffering from herpes zoster.

    Materials and Methods


    In the 11 seropositive patients with herpes zoster the dermatomal areas included trigeminal thoracic, thoracolumbar, and lumbosacral region.

    Sexual behaviors



    Are There Complications Of Shingles

    Shingles can have complications that last long after the rash is gone, including:

    • Brain inflammation or facial paralysis if it affects certain nerves
    • Eye problems and vision loss if your rash was in or around your eye
    • Pain that lasts long after the outbreak, called postherpetic neuralgia. It affects up to 1 in 5 people who get shingles.

    Recommended Reading: Over Counter Medicine For Shingles

    What Is An Aids

    These are conditions which are very rare in people who do not have AIDS . Pneumocystis is an AIDS-defining illness, therefore anyone presenting with pneumocystis pneumonia almost certainly has AIDS. Certain malignancies such as Kaposis sarcoma and non-lymphoid lymphoma are also AIDS-defining illnesses.

    Got Shingles Test For Hiv Severe Shingles As First Presenting Infection In Hiv/aids Patient

    Neurological Pain Syndrome

    Late diagnosis of HIV is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

    Missed opportunities for HIV testing lead to delays in initiation of therapy.

    Screening patients for classic risk factors is insufficient.

    There are numerous cutaneous diseases which may hint at immunosuppression.

    Herpes zoster suggests a weakened immune system and should prompt HIV testing.

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    Complications Of Having Both Shingles And Hiv

    HIV and other chronic conditions that weaken the immune system can cause shingles symptoms and complications to become more severe.

    When a person has both HIV and shingles, they are more likely to experience the following complications of shingles:

    • long-term pain, which can last for months or years
    • longer-lasting shingles symptoms
    • a higher risk of skin infections
    • a higher risk of developing chronic shingles
    • disseminated zoster, in which the rash covers a much larger part of the body

    Tingling Pain Or Numbness

    During the first stage of shingles, before anything appears on your skin, a particular area of your body may begin to feel different. When a shingles outbreak is starting, you may feel itching, burning, or pain,” Kim says. Often you will feel this on only one side of your body.

    The initial signs of shingles may feel different for each person. In some cases, shingles can cause intense sensitivity, making it painful to even wear clothes over your skin, while in other cases, your skin may feel numb.

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    Herpes Zoster In People Who Received Varicella Vaccine

    Although herpes zoster has always been uncommon among children, the rate of herpes zoster in U.S. children has been declining since the routine varicella vaccination program started. Varicella vaccine contains live attenuated VZV, which causes latent infection.

    • Children who have been vaccinated against varicella have lower rates of herpes zoster compared to children who had natural infection with varicella. The reason for this is that vaccinated children are less likely to become infected with wild-type VZV, and the risk of reactivation of vaccine-strain VZV appears lower compared with reactivation of wild-type VZV.
    • The number of older adults who have received varicella vaccine since it was licensed in 1995 is quite small. There is very little information on the risk of herpes zoster in people who got varicella vaccine as adults.

    CDC continues to study the epidemiology of herpes zoster among adults and children and to monitor the effects of the U.S. varicella and herpes zoster vaccination programs.

    How Is Shingles Diagnosed

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    Most of the time, a healthcare professional can diagnose shingles by performing a physical exam, including an examination of the eyes to see if theyve been affected.

    Shingles may be harder to diagnose if the rash is spread out over a large portion of the body or has an unusual appearance. If thats the case, the healthcare professional can take skin samples from a lesion and send them to a lab for cultures or microscopic analysis.

    Recommended Reading: What Are The Early Signs Of Shingles

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