Research conducted soon after effective HIV treatment was first introduced showed that HIV-positive people were much more likely to develop shingles than people in the general population. Shingles is caused by herpes zoster virus. Its symptoms include painful blisters and nerve pain. New research has been done to see how common shingles is in the era of modern HIV treatment and to see if there are any risk factors to predict its occurrence. It was found that shingles was still approximately ten times more common in people with HIV compared to the general population. A CD4 cell count below 500 and a detectable viral load are both risk factors for shingles. This suggested to the researchers that starting HIV treatment early could reduce the risk of shingles.
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