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Original Research

Clinical profile of herpes zoster in human immunodeficiency virus infected at a rural-based tertiary care center

Ashwin Budihal, Madhuri M Gudikote, Saranya Periyasamy, Vidya K R.


Background: Due to the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, which had lainissed within sensory ganglions, herpes zoster (HZ) is typified by unilateral radicular pain and grouped vesicular eruption that is typically restricted to the dermatome innervated by a single spinal or cranial sensory ganglion. It is widely known that reactivation of varicella-zoster virus infection as HZ can cause morbidity in a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive host.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe the clinical profile of HZ among HIV-positive patients in a rural tertiary care center.

Materials and Methods: A prospective hospital-based study was conducted in a rural tertiary care hospital in Karnataka for duration of 24 months. All patients attending the outpatient department (OPD) of dermatology with clinical features of HZ and post-herpetic complications irrespective of their age and gender were included in the study. Data collection done in a semi-structured questionnaire on patient particulars as well as pre-existing co-morbidities was documented.

Results: A cross-sectional study included 75 HZ patients attending OPD. Among the total 75 HZ patients, 11 were found to be seropositive for HIV infection. Seroprevalence among HZ was 14.6%. Among seropositive patients, the maximum belonged to the age group 41–60 years (63.3%). In the seropositive group, maximum cases (36.4%) occurred during summer while it was in the post monsoon season (39%) in the seronegative group.

Conclusion: It is known that multidermatomal and severe pain is more commonly seen in HIV-infected patients than in the normal population. Many HIV-positive patients can present with a typical presentation of zoster as seen in our study.

Key words: Clinical Profile; Herpes Zoster; Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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