Sunday, July 14, 2024

Is Shingles A Sign Of Hiv

Hiv And Aids Timeline

First Symptoms of HIV

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Serum Testing For Antigen And Antibody

Patients with suspected acute human immunodeficiency virus infection should undergo serum testing for HIV antibody and HIV antigen using HIV nucleic acid amplification, HIV p24 antigen, fourth-generation enzyme-linked immunoassay , or polymerase chain reaction testing for viral load. Beware of false-positive HIV viral load test results . For more information, see Rapid Testing for HIV and Laboratory Assays in HIV Infection.

What Are The Treatment Options For Shingles

Treatment for shingles is the same regardless of whether a person has HIV. Treatment includes the following:

  • getting started on an antiviral medication as quickly as possible to ease symptoms and potentially shorten the duration of the illness
  • taking an over-the-counter or prescription pain reliever, depending on how severe the pain is
  • using an OTC lotion to relieve itching, being sure to avoid lotions that contain cortisone
  • applying a cool compress

Eye drops that contain corticosteroids can treat inflammation in cases of shingles of the eye.

Lesions should be examined by a healthcare professional right away.

Recommended Reading: How Much Is Shingles Vaccine Without Insurance

Sudden Unexplained Weight Loss

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.

Hiv/aids And Molluscum Contagiosum

Pin on Herpes cure

Molluscum contagiosum is an infection that is marked by smooth white or flesh-colored bumps on the skin. It is caused by a virus and is contagious.

This condition is not serious, and the bumps often resolve on their own without treatment. However, in people with HIV infection whose immune systems are functioning poorly, the infection can become very chronic and progressive. If necessary, the bumps can be removed by a doctor by scraping or freezing. Drug treatments may include retinoic acid or imiquimod cream. Again, the best treatment is to treat the HIV itself, and as the immune system improves, the molluscum will resolve.

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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.

Hiv Rashes Caused By Medication

Drugs that treat HIV and related infections can trigger rashes. These often go away several days or weeks after you stop taking the drug. Talk with your doctor before stopping any medication.

If you have a rash along with fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pains, upset stomach, vomiting, and belly pain, you might have a âhypersensitivity reaction,â which can happen with several HIV medications, including:

Get medical help right away if you have those symptoms or if you have:

  • Painful red or purplish rash
  • Blisters that spread on your skin and around your mouth, nose, and eyes

These could be signs of Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a severe form of hypersensitivity reaction. Itâs rare but can be life-threatening.

Also Check: How Much Are Dimensional Shingles

How Is Shingles Diagnosed

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.

Dhhs Guidelines For Antiretroviral Agents

Herpes Zoster or Shingles

Current Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1Infected Adults and Adolescents, published by US Department of Health and Human Services, recommend starting antiretroviral therapy for all individuals when infection is diagnosed, regardless of stage of infection, as long as barriers to therapy do not exist. Considerations are as follows:

  • The goal of treatment should be the suppression of plasma HIV RNA to below detectable levels

  • Testing for plasma HIV RNA levels and CD4 count and toxicity monitoring should be performed

  • If therapy is initiated before drug-resistance test results are available, a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitorbased regimen should be used, because clinically significant resistance to protease inhibitors is less common than resistance to non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase and integrase inhibitors in antiretroviral therapynaive persons who harbor drug-resistant virus.

Also Check: What Triggers An Outbreak Of Shingles

Appearance Of The Shingles Rash

The eruptive stage of shingles begins a few days later. This is when a rash appears.

The skin in the area of the prodromal pain caused by shingles will often be sensitive to the touch and reddish in appearance. As these symptoms get worse, it may begin to feel like a sunburn.

Within three to five days of the initial pain, a few tiny pimple-like spots appear and quickly multiply into clusters, forming a rash that feels prickly to the touch.

From there, sometimes within hours, the pimples develop into water-filled blisters, or vesicles, that then consolidate into larger blisters. Often, redness and swelling accompany the rash.

The shingles rash looks very much like the chickenpox rash, with a key difference: Chickenpox blisters are widely scattered over the entire body. With shingles, the rash almost always occupies a finite strip of skin.

Ultimately, the pain of shingles may get so excruciating that simply grazing the skin with clothing can set off what feels like an electric shock.

Why Shingles May Be A First Sign Of Hiv

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection marked by a painful, itchy rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus responsible for chickenpox.

If you’ve had chickenpox, varicella-zoster will lay dormant in nerve tissue after you recover. Usually, it stays that way and never causes any issues. However, in some instances, such as in the case of a weakened immune system, varicella-zoster can be reactivated, thus appearing as shingles.

Research indicates that shingles may actually be an early sign of human immunodeficiency virus . HIV is also associated with a more severe case of shingles, in addition to other complications like long-lasting pain. In this article, we’ll discuss the connection between HIV and shingles.

Chokchai Silarug / Getty Images

Recommended Reading: Where Do Shingles Appear On Your Body

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.


  • 5 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

  • Shingles Can Be A Painful Link To Hiv/aids

    Shingles Rash Pictures, Symptoms, Vaccine Facts

    Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is an infection caused by the chicken pox virus. This virus remains dormant in the nerve cells of people who have had chicken pox, and can reactivate in the body later on, resulting in illness.

    Early symptoms of shingles include tingling feeling, itchiness, numbness, and stabbing pain on the skin. Additional symptoms arise a few days later, and usually include: a band or patch of raised spots on the side of the trunk or face , small, fluid-filled blisters, a red rash, and pain lasting for several weeks.

    Although shingles, like all other viral diseases, cannot be cured, it usually will go away on its own and may not require any treatment, except to control symptoms. Doctors can prescribe antiviral medications to control the infection, and reduce the severity and duration of the disease. These medications may also help prevent postherpetic neuralgia..

    To combat the pain, doctors may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen, or a lidocaine topical patch.Ã A stronger pain reliever, such as codeine or oxycodone, may be prescribed for severe pain and discomfort.

    Learn more about shingles.

    Recommended Reading: Pictures Of Shingles In Eye

    Symptom : Swollen Lymph Nodes Achy Muscles And Joint Pain

    Lymph nodes are part of your bodys immune system and protect your blood by getting rid of bacteria and viruses. They tend to get inflamed when theres an infection. Many of them are located in your armpit, groin and neck which can result in aches and pains in these areas.

    Given these symptoms are common across many viral infections, they alone are not a reliable way to determine if the infection you are experiencing is HIV.

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

    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.

    Read Also: What Does Shingles Look Like

    Hiv/aids And Seborrheic Dermatitis

    Seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin around where the sebaceous glands are located . When these glands produce too much oil, it causes red and flaking skin.

    There is no cure for seborrheic dermatitis. To treat this condition, you can use a shampoo that contains coal tar, zinc pyrithione, or selenium sulfide. Other treatments include topical antifungals such as ketoconazole or topical corticosteroids such as hydrocortisone. In someone with HIV infection, the seborrheic dermatitis will improve as the immune system improves with treatment of HIV.

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    Facial Pain And Eye Damage

    Skin Rash, Causes, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment.

    Between 10% and 15% of the time, shingles affects the trigeminal gangliona triple-branched nerve that provides sensation to structures in the face. The medical term for head or facial pain due to shingles is “painful trigeminal neuropathy attributed to herpes zoster.”

    Specifically, the trigeminal ganglion involves the eye the cheek and the mandibular branch . Of these, the ophthalmic branch is the one most commonly affected by herpes zoster.

    According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology , 25% of the 300,000 to 500,000 cases of shingles that occur each year are herpes zoster ophthalmicus .

    HZO can affect any part of the eye, from the optic nerve to the conjunctiva . Without antiviral treatment, almost half of people who have shingles near the eye will experience eye damage or even lose an eye, so it’s vital to see an ophthalmologist immediately.

    Recommended Reading: How Much Is The Shingles Vaccine At Cvs

    Symptom : Nausea Vomiting And Diarrhoea

    Many people experience digestive system problems as a symptom of the early stages of HIV. However, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea can also appear in later stages of infection, usually as the result of an opportunistic infection.

    It is important to stay hydrated. Diarrhoea that is unremitting and not responding to usual therapy might be an indication of HIV, and it would be best to seek the advice of a doctor to help determine its cause.

    Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine

    You should not get Shingrix if you:

    • Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine or after a dose of Shingrix
    • Are not immune to the virus that causes chickenpox if you test negative for immunity, youll need to get the chickenpox vaccine
    • Currently have shingles
    • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

    If youre sick and have a fever of 101.3°F or higher, youll need to wait until youre feeling better to get the shingles vaccine.

    Side effects are usually mild and go away in a few days. They may include:

    • Pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given

    Recommended Reading: How Much Is The Shingles Vaccine At Publix

    Is Shingles Contagious

    Shingles is not contagious. But you can catch chickenpox from someone with shingles. If you’ve never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, try to stay away from anyone who has shingles.

    If you have shingles, try to stay away from anyone who has not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, or anyone who might have a weak immune system.

    What Causes Shingles

    How to Know if You Have Shingles Blisters

    After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains inactive, or dormant, in their body. The immune system works to keep it that way. Years later, usually when that person is over age 50, the virus can become active again. The cause of this isnt clear, but the result is shingles.

    Having a weakened immune system can increase the chances of developing shingles at a younger age. Shingles can recur multiple times.

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    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.

    Hiv/aids And Skin Conditions

    Skin conditions are common in people with HIV/AIDS. Many, including Kaposi sarcoma, thrush, and herpes, are caused by germs that take advantage of a weakened immune system. That’s why they are called “opportunistic” infections. Others, like photodermatitis, may be linked to inflammation caused by an overactive immune system as it revives during antiretroviral drug therapy or due to the drugs themselves.

    Here are some of the more common skin conditions related to HIV/AIDS.

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    What If A Person Has Never Had Chickenpox Or The Vaccine For It

    Shingles doesnt spread from one person to another. And those whove never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine cant get shingles.

    The varicella-zoster virus that causes shingles can be transmitted, however. Those who dont have the virus can contract it from exposure to active shingles blisters, and then develop chickenpox as a result.

    Following are a few precautions to take to reduce risk of contracting the varicella-zoster virus:

    • Try to avoid exposure to people with chickenpox or shingles.
    • Be especially careful to avoid direct contact with the rash.
    • Ask a healthcare professional about getting the vaccine.

    There are two shingles vaccines available. The newest vaccine contains inactivated virus, which wont cause a shingles infection and so can be given to people whose immune system is severely compromised. The older vaccine contains the live virus and may not be safe in this case.

    Consult a healthcare professional to find out if they recommend getting vaccinated against shingles.

    Those with HIV might get a more severe case of shingles and are also at increased risk of complications.

    Symptoms Of The Early Stages Of Hiv

    HIV: Clinical Disease and Opportunistic Infections

    This article is also available in Simplified Chinese and Thai.

    Symptoms of HIV can vary between individuals however the first signs of infection generally appear within the first 1-2 months. Many, but not all, people will experience severe flu-like symptoms which is your bodys natural response to the virus. This is called the seroconversion period.

    Its during this time that its crucial to identify if HIV is the cause, as your viral load is very high which greatly increases the risk of passing it on. And the only way to know for sure is by getting tested.

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