Herpes Zoster Virus (HZV) – also known as Shingles

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Inflammation of the peripheral nerves, due to infection with the herpes virus known as varicella-zoster or HZV. Initial infection with this virus causes chicken pox (varicella). After initial infection the virus may remain latent within the tissues and can reactivate as shingles in the presence of HIV if the CD4 cell count falls below 500. Shingles appear as painful, itchy blisters on the skin that form hard scabs as they heal. Blisters most commonly occur on the chest, back and stomach but other areas of skin can be affected. There is no cure for shingles but symptoms can be controlled with antiviral therapy and pain management.