Clinical and Laboratory Characteristics of Herpes Zoster in Patients With HIV/AIDS and Those With Juvenile Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

BACKGROUND HIV infection and juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus (jSLE) are risk factors for the development of herpes zoster (HZ) and its complications. Both diseases share similar immunologic aspects, such as immunodeficiency and immune activation. Therefore, our objective was to evaluate and compare the frequency and characteristics of HZ episodes in pediatric patients with HIV infection and jSLE.
METHODS A retrospective cohort study was carried out with the evaluation of 2 pediatric cohorts: HIV patients who were followed from January 1987 to December 2014 and patients with jSLE followed up from January 1990 to December 2014 in outpatient clinics.
RESULTS Of the 190 HIV patients, 48 had HZ (25.3%), with 67 episodes; of the 92 patients with jSLE, 27 had HZ (29.3%), totaling 28 episodes. The median age at the first episode of HZ was higher in the jSLE than in the HIV group (8.9 vs. 12.5 years, respectively) (P = 0.020). HIV patients were more likely to have recurrent HZ (P = 0.025). In addition, there was a tendency for HIV patients to present with disseminated HZ more frequently (P = 0.060). Although the hospitalization rate was similar between groups, patients with jSLE received intravenous acyclovir more frequently (P = 0.014). When HIV non-immune reconstitution syndrome patients were compared with jSLE group, recurrence of HZ in HIV was the only significant difference between groups (P = 0.017).
CONCLUSIONS Patients with HIV had more recurrent HZ than patients with jSLE.

as reported in: Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2020 Jul; 39(7): 624-627