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How Can Shingles Be Avoided

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AIDS InfoNet

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

What Is Shingles? Shingles is a very painful disease caused by the same herpes virus that causes chicken pox (varicella zoster virus). Like other herpes viruses, the varicella-zoster virus has an initial infectious stage, (chicken pox) followed by a dormant stage. Then, with no warning, the virus becomes active again. About 20% of people who have had chicken pox will eventually develop shingles. This reactivation of the virus is most likely to...
Ask the Experts

shingles again

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)?...
Judith Currier, M.D.

Response from Judith Currier, M.D.

University of CA, LA School of Medicine
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... Read more »

tired of shingles

In November I had my first boat of shingles. It was a nightmare, because I didn't go on medicine until 7 days later. In February it came back, but I started the medicine right away. After 10 days I went off the medicine, and it came back agin !...
Judith Feinberg, M.D.

Response from Judith Feinberg, M.D.

University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine
Don't wean yourself off the acyclovir until your doctor thinks it's wise to do so. While 10 days is what most people need, you may need to be on medication longer than that. You wantto avoid getting shingles again while you're... Read more »

Reexposure to chicken pox a trigger for shingles?

In the last week I have heard two anecdotal accounts of PWA's having a shingles outbreak shortly after being exposed to a child with chicken pox. Everything I have read seems to indicate that if someone has a positive history of chicken pox...
Judith Feinberg, M.D.

Response from Judith Feinberg, M.D.

University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine
I haven't seen this. You are correct that shingles results from reactivated chicken pox, and that HIV+s with a history of prior chicken pox do not have to be worried about exposure to it. These 2 cases may have been coincidental.... Read more »

SHINGLES....STAY AWAY!

dear doctor,1 year ago, i developed shingles on my face and eye. it was the worst pain i have ever experienced. i have since healed, but live in fear that it will come back. my doctor told me that i could take FAMVIR 500mg everyday for the rest...
Judith Feinberg, M.D.

Response from Judith Feinberg, M.D.

University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine
You can take preventive doses of famciclovir, acyclovir or valaciclovir on a permanent basis. It won't interact with your HIV meds. The potential risk is that of developing drug-resistant shingles from using it all the time. This isn't... Read more »
Connect With Others

Can I get Shingles from another Poz guy if I had ?

Posted by Anonymous, 1 Reply
Can I get shingles from another poz person even if I already had them myself in the past??? Read more »

My sister is HIV+ and has shingles

Posted by Anonymous, 3 Replies
I was just wondering if anyone had experience with HIV and shingles. She's been fighting the shingles now for about 5 months and they'll just start to go away and then come back again. She was very thin for a while, but looked really good and had... Read more »

Shingles

Posted by Anonymous, 3 Replies
Someone told me that shingles is one of the first indications of being HIV positive. I had shingles in 2002, and has felt fine since then. Although I do occassionally get dandruff. I had a dermatologist take a scalp sample and he said it was... Read more »

shingles?

Posted by Anonymous, 1 Reply
i had a sexual encounter yesterday with a guy who appeared to have shingles. when i asked him he said it was eczema, which i did not argue, but while changing him in sexual positions i did noticed that the shingles were in his ankles, and other body... Read more »