Q and A


I was diagnosed with shingles and HIV – can I get a second opinion?

When I got shingles I went to the hospital in Tanzania and they also tested me for HIV. They told me I am HIV positive and gave give me ARV medicine for fourteen days.

I don’t know why I have these meds and if I should I take them coz am scared. I want to do further check ups in another hospital.


Hi there

Thanks for your question – and how are you doing?

Although finding out you are positive and starting meds can be scary, it will start to get easier as you get more information.

Your hospital should also have run more tests that include a CD4 count and viral load. If you have these results I can help with more specific information.

Shingles is sometimes an early HIV-related infection, so it is is very good that you were tested. It is very good your were also given ARV treatment straight away.

These meds are really effective and they start working with the very first pill. The amount of HIV in your body is therefore already going down and your immune system is getting stronger again.

The clinic should have links with HIV support groups where you can talk to people who have already gone through the same experiences.

Although it is common to not want to believe the test results and to want a second opinion, this isn’t going to change the result. If you talk to your doctor or nurse they can maybe suggest places to do this. More likely, they might also give you information about that means you decide this isn’t needed.

These links might also be useful:

HIV positive home page

Just found out you are positive?

Who can I talk to?

What other tests do I need?


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