A study of HIV seropositivity with various clinical manifestation of herpes zoster among patients from Karnataka, India

Dermatol Online J. 2011 Dec 15;17(12):3.


Aims: To study the various clinical presentations of herpes zoster and to find out the proportion of HIV positivity in these patients.

Methods: A time bound study was conducted from November 2004 to October 2005. All clinically diagnosed cases of herpes zoster were tested for HIV infection with ELISA and confirmed by Tridot and Coomb AID.

Results: Total numbers of 90 zoster cases were recorded. Mean duration of pre herpetic neuralgia was 2.134 (standard deviation=1.424, F=8.951, P<0.001). The thoracic dermatome (46.66%) was most commonly involved, followed by the cranial nerves (18.88%), lumbar (14.44%), cervical (13.33%) and sacral (6.66%) nerves. A substantial proportion, 34 (37.77%) out of 90 cases, were found to be HIV positive. Of these, 64.7 percent of the HIV seropositive herpes zoster patients belonged to the age group of 21-40 years. Out of 39 who had a risk of exposure to STDs and whose ages were less than 50 years, 31 (79.48%) tested positive for HIV infection.

Conclusion: The occurrence of zoster in the young age group in patients who report a history of risk factors for HIV, may need testing. Herpes zoster serves as a clinical indicator of HIV seropositivity and one of the earliest manifestations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology*
  • HIV Seropositivity / pathology*
  • Herpes Zoster / epidemiology*
  • Herpes Zoster / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuralgia / epidemiology
  • Neuralgia / pathology
  • Prevalence
  • Young Adult