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Can worry cause shingles ?

Mar 14, 2003

What's the chance that an HIV neg. person would develop Shingles seven days after having risky sexual contact with a person who has primary HIV?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Herpes zoster (shingles) usually occurs in adults who have a prior history of chickenpox as children. It is an outbreak of skin lesions, which occurs due to reactivation of a virus that has been dormant previously. It is most likely to occur in people who have an impaired cell-mediated immune system (have low CD4 T cell counts). For this reason, it is more common among persons with HIV infection or other immune disorders, but similar skin outbreaks can occur in people with a healthy immune system as well.

Worry does not cause shingles (Herpes zoster). However, having unprotected sex exposes you to the risk of HIV infection and is a very bad idea. Unprotected sex with a person who has primary HIV infection may be particularly risky due to the high viral levels found during primary HIV infection.

The bottom line is DON'T HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX.

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