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Herpes zoster and the possibility of HIV infection?

Q: My wife had herpes and she had lot of fluid filled boils on her stomach and back area, about a year back. It lasted for a period of 7-8 days and subsided with help of medication/ointments. Please let us know the likelihood of getting this infection again? How does it spread? What are the preventive actions to be taken? More importantly, has it any thing to do with HIV?

A:If it was occurring on one side of the body, it may be herpes zoster. Chances of its recurrence are very low unless immunocompromised. Possibility of underlying HIV infection is usually not thought of unless there is high risk sexual behaviour, or herpes zoster is odd in presentation or does not heal fast. Other family members can get chicken pox from that within 14 days or so.

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