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Jan 22, 2007

I've been Hiv+ for 19 years never taken any meds and my T-cells and viral load vary from 225 T-Cells to over 626 in a year. Viral load slowly creeping up.

In the the last year I've had a bout with shingles twice! I'm not stressed am calm Why?

Is their something in medicine I should take to prevent these embarassing and painful out breaks?

Infected In Toronto Canada

Response from Dr. Horwath

Shingles is a skin condition consisting of painful blisters that occur in one area of the body (dermatome). It is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox, and it only occurs in people who have had chicken pox in the past. When a person has a CD4 count less than 500, then he or she is at greater risk to develop shingles, which is caused by reactivation of the virus due to decreased immunity (and other factors may also play a role).

Fortunately, treatment is available to decrease the severity of symptoms. The most widely used treatment is acyclovir, which is taken as a pill.

If you'd like more information, there was a writeup about shingles on at:

whether my children will be HIV+
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