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August 1990

Chronic Localized Herpes Zoster in the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Departments of Medicine and Dermatology New England Deaconess Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(8):1105-1106. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670320129031

To the Editor.—  While the exact incidence is unknown, herpes zoster virus infection occurs with increased frequency in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive patients and is often one of the earliest indicators of an impaired immune system.1,2 The risk of homosexual men with herpes zoster virus infection proceeding to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is thought to be 1% per month.3 In HIV-seropositive individuals, infection with herpes zoster virus usually presents as a typical dermatomal infection.4 Acute disseminated varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection has also been reported in HIV-infected patients, both starting de novo as chicken pox and from dermatomal herpes zoster.2,5 In occasional patients, disseminated VZV-infected lesions may persist.4-7 The patient with AIDS described in this report developed a chronic, persistent, localized herpes zoster virus infection without dissemination.

Report of a Case.—  A 33-year-old man presented in May 1988 with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and was found to be

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