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Shingles and HIV
Dec 13, 2001

Dr. Feinberg,

I used to be a member of the worried well, but after a negative ELISA 6 months after my "risky" encounter I began to get back to a normal life. Another 6 months passed and although it took awhile, I returned to my normal self and entered into a relationship with a wonderful girl. Before we became sexually active, we both decided to test for HIV. Both tests came back negative. However, just recently (4 months after testing) she came down with a mild case of Shingles which immediately sent me through the roof. I have read Shingles can be a symptom of HIV - especially in a young individual. Now what do we do? Re-test or chalk it up to cirsumstance? I am so worried I may have infected her. Please help.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

Shingles is just reactivated chicken pox and can happen to anyone who has ever had chicken pox-- it does not necessarily mean that someone has HIV, although it is common in people with HIV+. Stop worrying.


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