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k.s. and shingles
Mar 2, 2001

my question is.... last night at a gathering of friends, I discovered that an acquaintance is just getting over shingles. I am a 40 year old male with Aids and K.s. I was told the chance of contracting it was zero. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes Chicken Pox. Most likely your acquaintance HAD chicken pox in the past. After his initial bout of chicken pox, the virus laid dormant for years and finally erupted again as shingles (we call this reactivation). If you have had chicken pox already, then the likelihood is very low that you will "catch" his shingles. However if you have had chicken pox, at some point, the virus could erupt again in you. If you have NOT had chicken pox, then you indeed can catch it from him. Finally, he is not contagious once his lesions crust over. Hope this helps.


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