Shingles rash in an AIDS patient

Shingles rash in an AIDS patient

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Credit: DR M.A. ANSARY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Shingles rash in an AIDS patient. Shingles rash on the right neck and ear of an AIDS patient from the tropics. This multidermatomal herpes zoster is a form of shingles made more severe by HIV. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS, and weakens the immune system that normally defends the patient against infections. The herpes zoster virus is acquired in chicken pox infections and remains dormant. Immune system weaknesses may allow reactivation, when the virus travels along nerves, causing skin blisters and severe pain. Shingles normally only affects a single dermatome (skin area supplied by a nerve). AIDS is acquired immune deficiency syndrome. HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus.

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