May 9, 1999
How contagious is shingles to a person who has HIV? Is it true someone with HIV should avoid even social contact with a person who has shingles (but not HIV)?
Response from Dr. Currier
If you have previously had chicken pox ( shingles is caused by the same virus called Herpes Zoster) you cannot get it from someone else. Only people who have never had Herpes zoster are suseptible. You need to have direct contact with the fluid in one of the sores to get it. When people have shingles in more than one area of the body they may be able to spread it by respiratory secretions, and then again it is only people who have never had it who are at risk. People with HIV and no prior history of chicken pox need to be very careful to avoid exposure. Hope this helps.
Reexposure to chicken pox a trigger for shingles?
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.