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Avatar universal

shingles/std/HIV risk

HI Doc,
I am 32 , never been tested for STD or HIV or had any symptoms other than epidimitis 2 years ago
Have had 7 partners approx 500 total unprotected experiences, 3 partners  had neg HIV tests.

5 weeks ago after cross country flight i got sick , didnt have sleep for 2 days, sunburn on back and lots of exercise and work.  Developed cold and 3 days later rash on chest and back. it was shingles. took anti-viral and now just a discolored spot.  still have burning feet and strange feeling all over, but feeling ok. seems like armpits swollen still
my last partner develped herpes 2,  3 months after we broke up were together 1.5 years, sex over 100+ times unprotected) and had abnormal pap when we were together.  she never tested for HIV

now i am petrified my shingles are related to her STD illness and maybe an indicator i am really sick. had HIV test, i am in military overseas and takes 4 weeks.  3 more to go and i am petrified my life and career are over. all partners hetero no drug/or homosexual experiences

i feel ok, had white tongue when sick-thought it was thrush but cleared uo with tongue scraper and  some anti-yeast vitamins.  i took anti-biotics for 4 years for acne 10 years ago when i was 20 had penis thrush i think at the time, but no other big problems, also had mono at this time, could this have been ARS with monospot positive?

Am I high risk for HIV based on this info and should I get tested for HSV2 even if negative for HIV so i can warn future patners.  sorry to seem so needy, 5000 miles from home and no support system here and docs not so understanding.  thanks in advance and thanks for the advice whatever it may be...
5 Responses
239123 tn?1267647614
A single episode of herpes zoster (shingles) is not an indicator of immune deficiency or HIV risk.  (I have had it myself, and so did my son at age 13.)  There is nothing in your story that suggest you are at risk for HIV.  Every person who is sexually active outside committed, monogamous relationships has some theoretical risk for HIV and other STDs, and it is wise to be tested once a year.  So if you haven't been tested recently, this would be a good time, since it's on your mind. But not because of your shingles or any other particular suspicion that you are infected.

If your partner with genital herpes believes she caught it from you, then almost certainly you are infected with whichver virus type is the cause of her infection.  If she likely caught it somewhere else, you might or might not have caught it from her.  Either way, you defininitely should have a blood test for HSV-1 and HSV-2.  If you cannot be tested right away, you should assume that you have genital HSV-2, should informing any current or future sex partners of that suspicion, and take precautions to protect them (condoms, avoid sex if you notice any genital sores/irritation, no matter how mild).

Good luck--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thanks sir.
so it is just coincidence  that the shingles and herpes were within 3-4 months ago.  doc told her it surfaced now because of lowered immune function.  and told me same thing.  that put my mid in overdrive and everything you read on the web indicates shingles as a first sign of HIV.  i had diarrea with no other symptoms 2 weeks after my last sex with  her for 4 days doc said it was norovirus becuase not many other symptoms.
i dont really have any history of fever other than with mono 8 years ago.  is it possible around the world travel severe sunburn in area , lack of sleep sinus cold created the shingles.  i have never sen young person with it, but since i got i have heard a few stories of healthy people that got it young.  thanks so much for your response and i will have the herpes tests and other std as soon as i can .
very respectfully
Avatar universal
forgot to add, partner didnt blame me for herpes but is it common for initial outbreak to occur outside of sexual relations like this.  she is from japan and i have heard HSV 1 in genital area is very common there.  she had outbreak when she was 21 before becoming sexually active in mouth area
239123 tn?1267647614
Shingles is a localized recurrence of chickenpox; sunburn doesn't "create" it.  I don't know whether local trauma--from sunburn or anything else--can trigger outbreaks.  I haven't heard that, but it's not my area of expertise.  You might ask that question of Dr. Rockoff on the Dermatology Forum.

Recurrences of any herpes group infection, like herpes zoster (shingles) or herpes simplex probably occur when local immune surveillance fails, i.e. immune cells in the region of the chronic infection don't keep the infection in check as well as they had been doing.  The reasons are unknown, but in general it is not because a person's general immune system is suppressed or failed in some way.

I don't see much "coincidence" in two different medical events occurring 3-4 months apart.  You have been asking the wrong sources about age and herpes zoster.  Indeed it is most common in people over age 50, but it is not rare in younger people.

Sometimes the initial recognized herpes outbreak occurs when people have not been recently sexually exposed.  But the true first episode can only occur after sexual acquistion.  It sounds like you are grasping for straws to make yourself believe you don't have genital herpes due to HSV-2.  The odds are you do.  Because the suspicion is there, until you have a blood test to prove you don't have HSV-2, you should assume you do; therefore until then you have an absolute ethical obligation to inform any sex partners that you might have it.

Avatar universal
THanks for the answers, Dr H. will get tested from here
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