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Avatar universal

scared again - HIV, herpes, & shingles

hello Doctors,
I've written before and been advice before by Dr. HHH.  First of, thanks!  I think the service you provide its wonderfull.
This time i have another concern which is related to my initial threat in the expert's forum.
Just to recap a bit before i get into subject.  I had have a rapid test full blood extraction done on me for HIV which came back reactive.  After that, i had done several lab based tests (EIA, ECLIA) which have come negative.  Last test was 4.5 months after initial rapid test
Anyway, i do have a partner which has just developed a painfull & itchy rash in the middle of her back.  Just today she noticed a small rash (not painful, not itchy) in her left foot also. She believes its shingles...
I'm afraid that she might of gotten something from me and i have even come to think again about the possibility of HIV (weaken inmune system).  I usually have protected sex with but usually perform cunnillingus. she is also feels that there is no need to test, but she does not know what i have done outside our relation.  Shame on me....
1) does this rash resembles shingles?
2) can this be related to genital herpes?
3) Im i absolutley crazy to think that this could be related to HIV?
thanks in advance.

3 Responses
239123 tn?1267647614
Welcome back to the forum.

HIV test results overrule everything else:  symptoms, exposure history, shingles, herpes or anything else.  Your negative HIV test proves you did not acquire HIV during the exposure 4.5 months earlier.  There are no exceptions.  I'll also add that shingles is not an HIV indicator.  It's more common in people with AIDS than others, but it's an everyday disease that occurs very commonly in the general population.  My son and I both had it, for example.  HIV never entered my mind.  To your specific questions:

1) It's hard enough for a distant online expert to tell what the questioner herself might have and pretty near impossible by second hand description of someone else's symptoms.  All I will say is that shingles almost never occurs in two areas of the body at the same time.  I suppose the rash on her back might be singles, or the one on her foot -- but not both.

2) Genital herpes is very unlikely to cause rash in either location, and certainly not at the same time.

3) "Absolutely crazy" are your words; I wouldn't use them.  But if not "crazy", you at least are scientifically wrong to be worried about HIV.  There is no chance you have HIV, at least not from the exposure you are worried about, so it isn't possible you gave it to your partner.

You and your partner should not assume her rashes are due to shingles.  If they are, she needs treatment to prevent serious ongoing pain in the future.  She should see her doctor to sort it out.  In the meantime, you can stop worrying about HIV.  Your partner's rashes have nothing to do with your sexual indiscretion several months earlier.

Regards--  HHH, MD

Avatar universal
thanks Dr. HHH!

I have two additional questions.

please let me know if i should open another thread for this. I'll be happy to do so.  I highly appreciate your time and expertise.

1) she is into a treatment called Lupron depot for endometriosis. could this be linked to a weaken inmune system leading to HPV or Zoster outbreak? she is into her 5 or 6th month...anyways last shot..
2) what kind of tests do we need to rule out or reassure a) her having shingles, b) me/both having HPV?  she did see a dermathologist and quickly put her into acyclovir.. not testing was asked...

No more questions Dr. in this Thread... you've been more than helpfull!!

239123 tn?1267647614
Presumably HPV is a typo.  You mean HSV (herpes simplex virus), not human papillomavirus.

You should have told me your partner had already seen a dermatologist and that your partner is being treated with acyclovir.  The way you asked the question suggested the diagnosis of herpes zoster (shingles) was your partner's suspicion, not a professional diagnosis.  It makes a big difference.  The dermatologist is the person to ask about diagnostic tests.

That the derm doc recommended acyclovir indicates s/he believed your partner had shingles.  Conceivably s/he could have been concerned about HSV, but I doubt it.  The two conditions can appear similar, but the rash location is typical for shingles and very unlikely for HSV.

The only test for shingles is a swab specimen collected from the rash. But a dermatologist's examination normally is very reliable.  They deal with herpes zoster all the time, and if s/he is confident of the diagnosis, probably no testing is needed.  And I certainly see no need for you to be tested for HSV.  The locations of your partners rashes are very strong evidence in favor of shingles and against HSV.

You never said why you were HIV tested, but I assume you had an outside sexual exposure.  You can forget it.  Your test proves you don't have HIV, and your partner's current health problems have nothing to do with your sexual exposures to other people.  Your partner should continue to follow up with the dermatologist if there are any remaining questions or concerns.
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