Herpes zoster as an immune restoration disease in AIDS patients during therapy including protease inhibitors

Int J STD AIDS. 2005 Jul;16(7):475-8. doi: 10.1258/0956462054308404.


A prospective study to evaluate the incidence of herpes zoster (HZ) as an immune restoration disease in patients with AIDS during highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was conducted in a series of 115 patients diagnosed with AIDS initiated on HAART between 1 January 2000 and 31 July 2001. Of these, a single dermatomal HZ episode occurred in 14 (12%) patients within one and 15 months of HAART (median eight months). The HZ patients were similar to the non-HZ patients in age, sex, and HIV transmission risk factor, but had a more advanced disease. Compared with the baseline values, the viral loads significantly (P<0.01) decreased, while the mean CD4+ T-cell counts increased by almost four-fold (P<0.01) in both groups at the time of the HZ episode (or equivalent in non-HZ), but remained below 400/mL in the HZ patients. HZ during HAART is an immunopathological consequence of the improvement of the host immuneresponse, correlating with the beginning of immune restoration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / immunology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / virology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • Child
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • HIV-1
  • Herpes Zoster / immunology*
  • Herpes Zoster / physiopathology*
  • Herpes Zoster / virology
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Immune System / drug effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies


  • HIV Protease Inhibitors