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Author Topic: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?  (Read 7088 times)

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Offline northernguy

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Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« on: May 19, 2012, 11:54:05 AM »
Hi everyone, been a while since I posted.  On Monday I started to feel a bit lethargic and a strange deep pain in my right quad.  I thought I had stretched it somehow.  Then yesterday a painful raised red rash started to appear in the same area (front) of right thigh.  Can you get shingles even with a cd4 count over 1,000?

Its a long weekend here, so its going to be difficult to track down a clinic that's open, is it worth going to the hospital for?
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 12:04:38 PM »
Hi everyone, been a while since I posted.  On Monday I started to feel a bit lethargic and a strange deep pain in my right quad.  I thought I had stretched it somehow.  Then yesterday a painful raised red rash started to appear in the same area (front) of right thigh.  Can you get shingles even with a cd4 count over 1,000?

Its a long weekend here, so its going to be difficult to track down a clinic that's open, is it worth going to the hospital for?

Unfortunately anyone can get shingles no matter what your CD4 count is . If you really suspect its shingles get to the doctor ASAP . Shingles are very uncomfortable , I know because I have had them twice .

Its treatable so don't freak out , just get it taken care of so you wont have to worry about the discomfort or the possibility of complications like it migrating into your eyes .     

Offline LM

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2012, 01:04:58 PM »
Yes, unfortunately it appears to be the case. My CD4 is not as high as yours, last exam in March was like 610, but I'm going through a bout of shingles. It's awful, it hurts a lot, I can't use my left hand with the pain, and the rash is damn ugly. Doc told me to isolate myself until the blisters crust over. She was scratching her head wondering why I was having shingles, and kept asking me if I had any stressful situation recently. I can't recall anything, but... well, there you go. Luckily, my appointment with my ID doc was just two days after I saw the first sign of a rash. Now I'm taking valacyclovir and gabapentin.

So, northernguy, do run to the doc to get medications, it's really important as it helps to prevent complications from shingles, including to reduce the pain. You may not feel pain now, and when I went to the doctor I didn't as well, but she told me I would feel it real soon. And damn, she was right. At that same night (that was Tuesday), I started to feel intense pain, and that has been going on until now. So do get those meds so you won't suffer much.

Online Joe K

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 02:21:14 PM »
Its a long weekend here, so its going to be difficult to track down a clinic that's open, is it worth going to the hospital for?

If you think you have shingles, I would not wait until Tuesday to see a doctor.  It's important to start treating it as soon as possible.  Do you have any emergency medical clinics where you live?  What about your doctor, don't you have any way to reach him/her?  You want to treat this, because without the meds you will be absolutely miserable.  Hell, even with the meds you will be miserable, but it's much more tolerable.

Joe

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2012, 03:11:01 PM »
If you think you have shingles, I would not wait until Tuesday to see a doctor. 
Joe

I agree with Joe.  I would get myself down to a clinic or hospital, to get some medication prescribed.

Shingles can happen at any time, but in most cases it happens in the elderly, or those with a compromised immune system.

I got the worst case of shingles in 1989 ( 4 years after I was infected)  I had no idea what they were.  The blistering started in the left side of my stomach,

At the time, I thought I came in contact with a chemical at work, And that's what was causing the blisters.

By the following day, I had so much pain, I could barely walk, but I manged to drive myself to the ER.  As soon as I took off my shirt, the doctor said " You've got shingles" They gay me a few med packs to take over the course of the next week.  It was too late for me though, the shingles at this point, had traveled around my left side, and went to about the center of the back.  I had some sort of pain medication given to me back then ( can't remember what it was) ,

That helped.  As long as I was still and in bed I was fairly comfortable, But any kind of movement, would shoot that nerve pain through the entire body.

I don't know, what my t-cell count was in 1989, but I was under a lot of pressure and stress from work at the time, and I think that helped to trigger the shingles.

The next time I got shingles was in 2003, but this time I was prepared, because I knew what they were, and I immediately got on medication, so they were no where near as severe as the case in 1989.


http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Shingles_6797.shtml

From the above:

Acyclovir (Zovirax): Acyclovir has been studied and used for many years as a treatment for shingles. It has been studied specifically in people with HIV and has been shown to be safe and effective. Treatment is most effective if it is initiated within 48 to 72 hours after the first symptoms appear. Intravenous acyclovir is used to treat more serious outbreaks of shingles. The oral dose used to treat shingles is 800 mg taken five times a day for seven to ten days (until the rash has crusted over). Taking lower doses of the drug for a prolonged period of time can help prevent shingles from recurring. However, this is usually recommended only for patients who have a history of frequent recurrences.



Depending on severity, and the kind of work you do, you may want to take some time off from work.  In 1989, I missed about a week and a half.

You need to get rest and take it easy. Hopefully this won't get any worse.


Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline northernguy

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2012, 03:13:25 PM »
Thanks.  I got a hold my doctor's on-call back-up.  Just from teh description she could tell it was shingles and arranged for a prescitption for Valtrex.  Interestingly, whenever I've had an outbreak of ocular herpes, its been after the same thing, the first nice weekend at the beach, which leads me to believe sun exposure is somehow reactivating the virus.

I also didn't realize that shingles would manifest itself even before the rash with pain and sensitive skin.  I thought it was just muscle soreness.
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 03:22:59 PM »
  I thought it was just muscle soreness.

I wish it could be just muscle soreness.  I felt like I was being moderately electrocuted. It kind of felt like a bad toothache, except for the fact the it was over the entire body.

Get on that Valtrex and take it easy for a while. Let us know how things are.


Take care----Ray
Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline Raf

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2012, 05:28:43 PM »
I got shingles 3 years before my Dx. I'm pretty sure I was already poz when that happened (even though it was triggered by a very stressful situation back in that time). The rash started in the mid of my back, and ended on my chest, the pain...I thought it wouldn't stop, never. I got on valtrex 4 days after the rash started...too late to stop it from reaching the pain phase.

I don't want another episode, not again.
Dx: 05/14/2008
Latest HIV Meds combo I've been taking:

Kaletra + Combivir (since 05/16/2008 - today)

Offline LM

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2012, 06:27:40 PM »
Mine is limited to my left arm. I feel like the inside of it is full of needles, especially in my hand. It's terrible, I have to type mostly with only my right hand. I'm really unlucky. :(

Offline eric48

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2012, 07:19:04 PM »
Here below is my take on it (right or wrong, is up to you to appreciate, I'm not a doc...)

The following presentation explains the immune system in a graphical, simplified, yet comprehensive manner.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/understandingcancer/immunesystem

Slide20 explains exactly difference in the role played by CD4 and CD8. For pathogens of the MHC class1, CD8 and natural killers (NK) are enough to mount a successfull attack/response.

But for pathogens of the MHC class 2, CD8 or NK can not bind directly, they need the CD4 in between (which is why they are called helper cells)

When a pathogen of MHC class1 is encountered, the counter attack tactics is for the appropriate lymphocytes (NK or CD8) to expand like clones (think of Star wars). Their number increase millions folds in a localized area. Later on, after the attack is over, they diffuse throughout your body and, thus, their apparent count, in blood, increases.

If the pathogen is MHC class2 then NK, CD8 AND the (absolutely necessary) CD4 expands in the same fashion.

If the person does not have enough CD4s, then an attack against a MCH Class2 cannot be mounted, then the pathogen wins and , well... you know what the ultimate consequence is...

Anytime the response is build against a MHC class2 pathogen, there is an inscrease of the corresponding pool (under the condition that the seed CD4s are not missing, of course, when the seed CD4s are missing this is called immunodepression).

most MHC class II are bacterias
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MHC_class_II

but not all, some of them are viruses, or fungi, or cancerous cells

A number of pathogens (not all) are of MHC class2 and are never completely cleared out of the body. They reactivate from time to time and the immune system reacts accordingly. There is an equilibrium. These pathogens and the patient will coexist as long as the patient is alive.

Which are the viruses that do require a CD4 expansion ?

Well, obviously, the usual culprits are those that would otherwise kill a person without enough seed cd4s to mount a successfull counter attack: they are those viruses that could kill a non-immunocompetent person

namely: EBV, CMV, some influenza, HPV, and... VZV the varicella Zoster: the one that causes shingles

A patient who has a 'thus-far silenced' virus currently being re-activated (for some unknown reason, like stress) and has enough seed CD4s will mount a successfull attack and this will result in a transient increase of CD4s

Thus, for the immunocompetent individual (CD4 > 500) a transient increase of CD4s is not protecting, preventive gear against a pathogen, but the sign that the immune system is under an attack (usually successfully fought back by the immune system)

Because a transient increase in CD4 includes a transient increase of HIV containing CD4 reservoir pool, when the transient disappears (the war is over), these extra CD4 die, including the excess HIV containing CD4 clones, which should result in a slight, detectable or not, not clinically significant increase of VL. (blip)

Would be interesting to see what your numbers will be once this shingles episode is over.

Why is is important that you consider this matter seriously?
Well... CD4s have also a tendency to be 'pathogen specific'
(especially against CMV or VZV), and some patients, even with a 'good' number of CD4s , lack the diversity and have 'holes'.

VZV is a good example: as people age, their pool of VZV specific CD4s (which was created when they got varicella as kids) decreases, and develop zona. On the other hand it has been observed that retired ladies who had been professionally in charge of younger kids (they all get varicella...) are 're-exposed' on a regular basis and do not have zonas as they age... 

So, despite a good number of CD4s, your body may need the help of medication to make sure that the immune response goes into your favor

Hope this helps

Eric
   

Offline northernguy

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2012, 11:52:23 AM »
Well, the red rash occupies about 40% of my right upper front thigh now with a couple splotches on my butt.  Theer are very few blisters.  Will be interesting to see if the Valtrex makes any difference-while I got on it 24 hours after the rash appeared, that was still about 4 days after the dull ache was felt.

Any tips for washing the area?
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Online Joe K

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2012, 01:50:29 PM »
Well, the red rash occupies about 40% of my right upper front thigh now with a couple splotches on my butt.  Theer are very few blisters.  Will be interesting to see if the Valtrex makes any difference-while I got on it 24 hours after the rash appeared, that was still about 4 days after the dull ache was felt.

Any tips for washing the area?

For washing I would recommend a damp cloth, no soap and dab the areas, DO NOT RUB, or a soft shower that you can just rinse the area.  Again, no soap just water.  Once they scab over you can wash as much as the pain will allow.  Your goal is to not spread the fluid, from the blisters to other parts of your body, especially your head.  If you find the itching to be a problem, try using a antihistamine like Benedryl to suppress the need to itch.

Joe

Offline LM

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2012, 02:53:12 PM »
northernguy, I'm taking Valtrex, and it's hard to say if it makes any difference, since you will still experience the pain anyway. But I don't want to know how the pain is without Valtrex, so I'd rather trust that it's working.

Offline northernguy

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2012, 02:45:10 PM »
I know I'm going to regret asking this, but generally how long do shingles last?
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2012, 03:47:27 PM »
I've always heard anywhere up to a month, depending on severity.  And, I remember seeing story how some get the awful pain, but never develop the rash or blisters, which often leads to trouble diagnosing the problem.

Wish ya the best!

Online Joe K

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2012, 04:47:46 PM »
I know I'm going to regret asking this, but generally how long do shingles last?

It depends on how fast you started the meds and how long the infection has been active.  4-6 weeks is what I experienced, but some of the neurological issues took a few months to subside.  Your mileage may vary.  Seriously, treat it the best you can and take care of yourself and hope for the best.

Joe

Offline rocket

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2012, 05:19:20 PM »
   I get shingles without the rash or blisters...about every two or three years.
           The first time I thought I had pulled a muscle on the side of my abdomen.The pain would last about 13 or 14 days!  Now i take acyclavor as soon as I feel it coming on.  Does anyone know if Valtrex ia more effective than acyclavir?  Northern guy....hope you're feeling some relief.

Offline northernguy

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2012, 08:00:27 PM »
From what I've Valtrex is a prodrug and converts to aciclovir in the body, its supposed to have better oral bioavailability thatn takign aciclovir.

I'm a bit disappointed that after 2 days on it I've seen no improvement, today the rash really started to sting.
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2012, 12:48:50 AM »
   I get shingles without the rash or blisters...about every two or three years.
           The first time I thought I had pulled a muscle on the side of my abdomen.The pain would last about 13 or 14 days!  Now i take acyclavor as soon as I feel it coming on.  Does anyone know if Valtrex ia more effective than acyclavir?  Northern guy....hope you're feeling some relief.

Every so often, I get really sensitive skin that wraps around from the back to underneath both arms.  It hurts so bad to be touched there.  My partner wrapped his arm around me, and it hurt like hell.  When it first happened, I thought shingles were coming on, but got no rash or blisters.  I still don't believe it is shingles (because would think rash and blisters would present, even though have read not always the case), but rather just some kind of nerve thing happening. 

Offline randym431

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2012, 06:36:41 AM »
I had a friend at work (not gay) that got shingles from nervous condition. When he was stressed and worried over a long period of time, he would come down with shingles at some point.

Offline Lou-ah-vull

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2012, 02:59:59 PM »
The valcyclovir takes a while to get fully into your system.  I have had shingles twice, both times the rash and accompanying pain lasted about 2-3 weeks and the both times I got on valcyclovir therapy within the window.  After the second bout, I started a prophylactic regimen on valcyclovir which I take twice every day.  Knock on wood, but since then I have not suffered a third outbreak.  My heart and compassion goes out to anyone with shingles.  Until you have them, you have no idea how debilitating they are.  Be patient...(inasmuch as that is possible) and the valcyclovir should be working by day 4 or 5. 

Gary
Diagnosed Oct. 2005
10/05:  367 (26.2%), 24556 VL
01/06:  344 (24.6%), 86299 VL
04/06:  374 (22.0%), 87657 VL
05/06:  Began HAART 05/15/06, Combivir/Kaletra
07/06:  361 (27.8%), 1299 VL
10/06:  454 (32.4%), 55 VL
01/07:  499 (38.4%), UD
02/07:  Switched to Atripla 2/8/07
04/07:  566 (37.7%), UD
08/07:  761 (42.3%), UD
06/08:  659 (47.1%), UD
01/09:  613 (43.8%), UD
07/09:  616 (47.4%), UD
01/10:  530 (44.2%), UD
07/10:  636 (48.9%), UD
01/11:  627 (48.2%), UD
07/11:  840 (52.5%), UD
01/12:  920 (51.1%), UD
07/12:  857 (50.4%), 40
10/12:  UD
01/13:  710 (47.3%), UD
07/13:  886 (49.2%), UD
01/14:  985 (46.9%), UD
06/14:  823 (47.2%), UD

Offline LM

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2012, 03:02:46 PM »
From what I've Valtrex is a prodrug and converts to aciclovir in the body, its supposed to have better oral bioavailability thatn takign aciclovir.

I'm a bit disappointed that after 2 days on it I've seen no improvement, today the rash really started to sting.

Some guys here are saying their bouts lasted over 4 weeks and you want to improve in 2 days? C'mon. My doc told me the meds are used to reduce the duration of your bout of shingles, but not by much. Also, they reduce the odds of the pain continuing even after it's over. Some people continue having pain for months, even years, so the meds help to prevent this from happening.

I'm with it for over 1 week now. The pain is not as intense as before, but it still bothers. And the rash is turning into crusts. But my left arm looks damn ugly.

Offline northernguy

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2012, 08:24:13 PM »
Yeah, I'm impatient.  ;) 

That said, I got in to see my doctor today who had a look and said they seem to be healing over very quickly, given that they just appeared Friday.  The raised red patches are giving way to red dots, which he thinks most will not form a blister and scab over.  There's only 2 or 3 that have blistered.  I'm crossing my fingers that I started the Valtrex at the right time.  They still have a prickly pain to them, and given that they're on my leg and butt, I can't imagine sitting at work for 8 hours.
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
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Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline LM

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2012, 12:05:12 AM »
I'm not working at the moment, but my doc said if I were, I would have to take a leave from work. Ask your doc about it.

Offline Mikey

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2012, 12:22:27 PM »
I used to get them every couple of months, sometimes severe, other times not so much.  I take 1gm Valtrex daily along with my other meds (what's one more pill?) and haven't had an outbreak in over a year. 

Offline nibbler

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2012, 01:17:33 PM »
I had shingles years ago (pre-poz days) and never experienced any terrible pain with it.  I went on some antiviral (probably acyclovir) and took some supplements (definitely quite a bit of B-complex) as recommended in the book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"...  Since shingles are related to chicken pox which are related to fever blisters (all in the big, nasty herpes family, I think), it wouldn't surprise me if too much sun could be a trigger for multiple members of the group.

http://dermatology.about.com/cs/oralherpes/a/oralherpesbasic.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/shingles/DS00098

Offline LM

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2012, 05:06:33 PM »
When I thought I was getting better, last night my arm started to itch real bad. I couldn't get any sleep, it was awful. I can't itch, because it makes it worse, so it's agonizing. This is way worse than the pain, I'm so tired of this.  :'(

Offline 5pebble5

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2012, 05:47:44 PM »
Last time I was at the pharmacy the clerk asked me if I wanted a shingles vaccine. I live in a retirement complex.  I said I would have to ask my doctor.  If I get the vaccine will it prevent the disease? 

Offline eric48

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2012, 05:43:09 PM »
see my previous post on this thread about aging and VZV.

Vaccination means a protective exposure. I have read somewhere that they offer this kind of re-exposure to people in their 50 or 60 so that they do not get shingles in their '70. Regardless of serostatus...

I would accept the offer

Hopes this helps

Eric

Offline 5pebble5

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2012, 06:36:07 PM »
Thank you for your advice.  My viral load is undetectable and I have a CD4 count of 1100.  I am in my 60's and was diagnosed in 1995.
I will ask my doctor for the vaccine during my next visit.

Offline Lugzsoo

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2012, 10:01:01 AM »
I don't know about c4 count but the shingles I had on the right side of my face and my body they hurt like hell. My ear got so big and that's been 4to5 years ago .

Man never wish them on no one

Online leatherman

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2012, 07:59:54 PM »
interestingly enough, in another thread ("unnecessary doctor visit") Ray posted a link to a pdf from the federal health dpt that says a shingles vaccination is NOT recommended for pozzies. Check with your doctors first!!!
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline northernguy

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2012, 10:53:11 PM »
interestingly enough, in another thread ("unnecessary doctor visit") Ray posted a link to a pdf from the federal health dpt that says a shingles vaccination is NOT recommended for pozzies. Check with your doctors first!!!

Seems like more recent studies indicate it is OK, if your numbers are high enough and stable. 
http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/hiv_zostavax_shingles_1667_22067.shtml

My update: a week after the rash appeared the raised spoltches have all given way to just red dots, maybe 2 small areas blistered briefly, but that was it.  Funnily enough the untouched skin adjacent to it is more tingly and sensitive.
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline J.R.E.

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2012, 04:24:23 AM »
Seems like more recent studies indicate it is OK, if your numbers are high enough and stable. 
http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/hiv_zostavax_shingles_1667_22067.shtml




I've given it some thought, about getting the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine, and taking the chance.  I think I will bring it up with my doctor on the next visit, and see what he says.  The last time I had them was in 2003, and I am past 60 now.

On second second thought,  ::)      maybe I'll wait until I am out of the workforce in 18 months. Perhaps by that time, a little more study might be completed.

Would hate to have a bad reaction to it, and have to use my vacation time, being home sick.  :P


Ray

Current Meds ; Viramune, Epzicom, 40mg of simvastatin, 12.5mg of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Metoprolol tartrate 25mg



http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=40802.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=45159.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39722.msg495621;topicseen#msg495621

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=46806.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=39414.msg491701#msg491701


 In October of 2003, My t-cell count was 16, Viral load was over 500,000, Percentage at that time was 5%. I started my first  HAART regimen  on October 24th,03.

 As of 6/4/14,  t-cells are at 423, Viral load <40

 Current % is at 13% 

  
 62 years young.

Offline denb45

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2012, 10:13:12 AM »
Ray,to my knowledge, I've never had shingles, don't recall if I've ever had chicken-pox before, so the last time I saw my doc, back in FEB 2012, I ask her about getting the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine,

And she told me, that it's NOT recommended, and I ask her why, and she said

"I don't want to put you @ risk by introducing a live virus into your already working immune system, and just because you partner got one doesn't mean you need one, he doesn't even have AIDS like you do"


so, according to my ID Doc, I guess I won't be getting that Zostavax Shingles Vaccine after all  ;)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Online leatherman

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2012, 10:24:36 AM »
"I don't want to put you @ risk by introducing a live virus into your already working immune system

that's what several of my doctors have said too.
btw, you probably had the pox as a child - that's when nearly everyone gets it. You'll have to check with your family or childhood records to find out. While it's not that big of a deal to have it as a child, having an outbreak occur later on in life can be very dangerous.

Of course having been <200 cd4 for 15+ yrs and only 2 yrs here at 300, I'm more than happy to forego putting any other live viruses into me right now. ;) Besides I've had 3 big shingle outbreaks and at least 2 smaller outbreaks per year (in my left hand) over the last 20 yrs so I'm pretty used to just sucking it up and dealing with the problem anyway. ::) LOL I think it's too late to vaccinate me. ;D
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline denb45

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2012, 10:37:58 AM »
To My knowledge no, I've never had chicken pox, however, I've had German Measles & the Mumps before, and besides even if you had chicken pox as a child it doesn't mean that you'll get them, only about 20% to 40% of people get shingles, some don't get them at all  ;)
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Offline LM

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2012, 10:50:19 AM »
Besides I've had 3 big shingle outbreaks and at least 2 smaller outbreaks per year (in my left hand) over the last 20 yrs so I'm pretty used to just sucking it up and dealing with the problem anyway. ::) LOL I think it's too late to vaccinate me. ;D

You're crazy, man. I've got it all over my left arm and I don't want it ever again. It's painful, but most of all, it's itchy and you can't itch. I can barely use my left hand. And although I'm talking Valtrex, it didn't seem to help much.

I hope I never have it again, but I think that would be naive. And I can't take the vaccine either. :(

Offline northernguy

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #38 on: May 30, 2012, 02:25:52 AM »
The other thing that surprises me about shingles is how crappy you feel.  Two weeks after it began and though teh rash is fading, I still feel tired and out of sorts, get chills every so often.  The weird thing is having that suburned sensation up my right side in areas I never got the rash.  :-\
Apr 28/06 cd4 600 vl 10,600 cd% 25
Nov 8/09 cd4 510 vl 49,5000 cd% 16
Jan 16/10 cd4 660 vl 54,309 cd% 16
Feb 17/10 Started Atripla
Mar 7/10 cd4 710 vl 1,076 cd% 21
Apr 18/10 cd4 920 vl 268 cd% 28
Jun 19/10 cd4 450 vl 60 cd% 25
Aug 15/10 cd4 680 vl 205 cd% 27
Apr 3/11 cd4 780 vl <40 cd% 30
Jul 17/11 cd4 960 vl <40 cd%33
April 15/12 cd4 1,010 vl <40 cd% 39
April 20/12 Switched to Viramune + Truvada
Aug 2/12 cd4 1040, vl <40, cd% 38
Oct 19 cd4 1,110 vl <40 cd% 41

Offline newbieguy

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #39 on: May 30, 2012, 04:18:27 PM »
Yes, it doesn't matter what your cd4 count is, you can still get shingles. If you had a mild case of chicken pox as a child, it is more likely that you'll get shingles as an adult. The virus that causes chicken pox & shingles stays dormant in you, and may or may not trigger in some people...And I don't think HIV pertains to it too much, unless your immune system is really bad...Anyone can get shingles, HIV or not....MY cd4 count was about 500 when I got it about a year ago...I started getting a really bad ear ache in my right ear, and I went to the doctor and they treated me for a simple ear infection..It didn't get any better. It felt like the worst case of swimmer's ear ever! Finally, after a few days, I woke up feeling REALLY sick and woozy, and feverish...That same day, after work, I came home chilling, and noticed red bumps on the right side of my face, about two of them..The fever got so bad I couldn't even sit still, so I went to the ER....The doctor who examined my ear and my face immediately told me it was shingles! Imagine my surprise, after that other idiot doctor had missed the signs and thought it was an ear infection! The ER doctor told me that shingles always only affects one side of the body, which is why the rashes were on my right side..Luckily, as bad as I felt, he said I had a fairly mild case...He immeditately started me on an anti-viral, and within 2 days I was feeling a ton better! Luckily I only have a very small mark where one of the rashes was, and it is barely visible. But the doctor told me my chances of getting shingles again was pretty small. It is definately NO fun and one of the worst things anyone can have, so I sympathize with anyone dealing with it..Anti-virals work miracles on shingles tho!

Offline LM

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #40 on: May 30, 2012, 06:18:30 PM »
I can't tell the effect of Valtrex, since the pain in my left arm continues, along with a terrible itch. But I was a bit weak before taking it, so it may have helped with that.

Offline newbieguy

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #41 on: May 30, 2012, 09:14:11 PM »
I couldn't remember what it was called, but J.R.E. mentioned Acyclovir, and that's what the ER doc gave me for shingles. I took an oral dose for close to two weeks, and within two days, I felt all better! It worked wonders for me getting rid of the shingles! Shingles is one of the WORST things to have, the worst for me was the fever, fatigue, and feeling like I had the flu or something. That Acyclovir was AMAZING stuff tho!

Offline madbrain

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2012, 11:59:40 PM »
I had shingles in my left eye when I was 15 years old. Long before I had HIV.
I have no idea what my CD4 could have been.

Lots of people get shingles. It is really important to catch it early, otherwise there can be lifelong effects.

Offline LM

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2012, 01:58:34 AM »
It is really important to catch it early, otherwise there can be lifelong effects.

Why is it important to catch it early? I didn't really get that.

In other news, the pain in my left hand and the itch were keeping me awake and I couldn't sleep, so I ran to the doc. He gave me 1 month of gabapentin, which I have been taking since Friday. It's helping a lot, especially with the itch. Now I can sleep a bit better.

Online leatherman

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2012, 08:02:18 AM »
Why is it important to catch it early? I didn't really get that.
because early treatment can help lessen the outbreak's severity and duration

an untreated outbreak can result in scarring, deafness or blindness depending on the location, not to mention that treatment has been shown to reduce the risk of having herpetic neuralgia (residual chronic nerve pain)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline LM

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #45 on: June 06, 2012, 03:13:02 PM »
Ah, ok, I know that, I thought he meant to catch it at an earlier age or something. I'm having some residual pain... but it's early, I know. I hope it goes away soon enough.

Online leatherman

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2012, 06:47:57 PM »
Ah, ok, I know that, I thought he meant to catch it at an earlier age or something.
ah! You don't actually "catch" shingles per se. You "catch" (get infected by varicella zoster virus) chicken pox when you're a child. Then when you get older (One in three people will get shingles during their lifetime, and at least half of all people 85 and older have had the ailment) the "chicken pox" reactivates and that outbreak is called shingles.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline red_Dragon888

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2012, 08:00:00 AM »
I wonder if "Triple Antibiotic" ointment would help?  I had a friend who had a bad rash that flared up periodicity and when he took my suggestion of using this ointment, it cleared up in days and didn't return.
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Offline madbrain

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Re: Can You Still Get Shingles with a High CD4 Count?
« Reply #48 on: June 12, 2012, 07:44:18 PM »
Why is it important to catch it early? I didn't really get that.

Sorry for the poor choice of words.
I didn't mean that it's important to get shingles at a young age.
I meant that if you get an outbreak of shingles, it is very important for it to get diagnosed quickly, within 24 to 48 hours preferably. In my case a doctor made a house call on a sunday in France and I got my Zovirax the same afternoon. Then I was home away from school for the next 3 weeks.

If your shingles go undiagnosed, you can have lifelong nerve pain and other damage depending on where it happens.

My late grandfather had remarried and his late wife also got shingles in one eye. But hers was not treated promptly enough. She was constantly complaining about her pain. We never told her that I had gotten the same infection and it healed just fine.

 


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