Varicella does not appear to be a cofactor for human immunodeficiency virus infection in children

Jane Ellen Aronson, George McSherry, Laura Hoyt, Mary Boland, James Oleske, Edward Connor, Deborah Persaud, William Borkowsky, Keith Krasinski, Saroj Bakshi, Jane Pitt, Anne Gershon

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11 Scopus citations


We performed a retrospective analysis of longitudinal clinical and immunologic data obtained from 22 children in the early stages of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) when they developed varicella. We studied the course of HIV infection to determine whether clinical deterioration occurred after chickenpox. We examined the following indices: growth and development; neurologic status; helper T lymphocyte counts; blood values of core (p24) antigen of HIV; changesin the stage of HIV infection; and need for administration of zidovudine. We studied children for a mean of 2.8 years and for as long as 9.8 years after onset of varicella. There was little evidence that chickenpox affected HIV infection. Three (14%) children developed clinical zoster, 2 of whom (9%) had evidence of chronic infection with varicella-zoster virus. One additional child (5%) had 2 episodes of chickenpox. These observations suggest that children with early HIV infection could be considered for immunization with live attenuated varicella vaccine, which would be predicted to decrease their morbidity from varicella-zoster virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1004-1008
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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