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Stopped treatment and shingles outbreak

Mar 31, 2012

Hi Doc,

I was on Combivir & Stocrin for about 6 years and have been undetectable all these while. Few months ago, my med has run out and I completely stopped all medications. About a month later, I had shingles outbreak that lasted for more than 3 months and it kept coming back even when I was on acyclovir. And I had cold sores too. Could this mean my viral load has increased and what I am more worried is I might be sexually infectious to my partner. My next regular check up is in June'12. Please advise.

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for posting.

If you've been off your HIV meds for several months, it's probable that your virus is back and your CD4 count is declining. The fact that you seem to be having a lengthy bout of shingles and oral herpes is entirely consistent with this. As such, you are at greater risk of transmitting HIV to your sexual partner.

If you've had shingles for all this time, I'd not wait to see your doctor for the "regular" check up- your current situation isn't regular.

Hope that helps. BY

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