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shingles survey

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ChicagoMike:
Not sure if I have early stages of shingles or just reaction to Katetra/Truvada.  Sensitive skin started in upper left thigh and has progressed to my left foot.  Is very sensitive to touch and have had symptoms for about 4-5 days.  I have been on meds for 6 mos now without any major side affects. My latest tcell count was 800 and viral load 1,500.

Am interested in hearing from others that have had shingles;

1. Did your symptoms start in a small concentrated area, then escalate to a larger area?  I think shingles are usually only on one side of your body??

2. Did sensitive skin progress to blisters in a short period of time?  (I do not yet have blisters after 4-5 days)

3. How long did shingles last for you?

4. Any recommendation for OTC products to help?

5. Have you had reocurring bouts of shingles??

Thanks everyone for your help!  I appreciate it!

Mike

Ann:
Mike,

It does rather sound like shingles. Don't mess around with it, get seen by a doctor as soon as possible. Forget the OTC products, if you do indeed have shingles you need to be treated with valacyclovir or acyclovir and you can't get that OTC.

1. - yes and yes.

2. - In my case it did, but it can also take a few days.

3. - about three weeks from the rash first appearing.

4. - Please see above.

5. - Yes, you can get reocurrences.

Hope that helps Mike. Get to a doctor first thing tomorrow. If it is shingles, the sooner you start on the meds for it the better off you will be in the long run.

Ann

GSOgymrat:
I had shingles in 1994 about 1 1/2 years after I was diagnosed with HIV. I was starting a new job which was stressful. I had blisters from the back of my head to between my eyes. I went to an urgent care center because I didn't have health insurance at the time and they sent me to the emergency room because there was a chance I could have blisters in my eyes, which would have been bad. It looked horrible for a couple of weeks, like I had been in an auto accident. I can't remember what medication they gave me. I still have scars on my scalp and between my eyes. I have not had another blister but once or twice I have felt them "flare up".

Interesting aside, when I went to the emergency room the doctor asked me if I could come up with $300 for medication. He said if I didn't have the money he would admit me to the hospital and they could give me the medication through I.V. I asked if I couldn't afford $300 how was I suppose to afford an inpatient hospitalization? He said "just pay $20 a month and they can't do anything to you." Just another example of how screwed up our healthcare system is.

Markmt:
Hi Mike here is are some posts from the old forum that might help.

http://www.aidsmeds.com/Fusetalk/messageview.cfm?catid=5&threadid=31029&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

DanielMark:
I had them several times during the late 1990s, Mike. Fortunately after my CD4 counts improved Iíve not had them since.

Shingles develop along nerve pathways. I had them each time beginning in the lower back and wrapping around my side to my groin.  :o

My first suggestion to you would be to get this checked as soon as you can. The sooner they are treated, the less they will develop. It's common that shingles are very painful. Mine (for reasons only heaven knows) were uncomfortable and sore but not excruciatingly painful, just terribly terribly itchy, especially once they begin to heal.

Daniel

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