1. The diagnosis of herpes zoster can be made on clinical grounds without the need for laboratory tests. Viral isolation and culture assays are not useful for varicella-zoster.
2. An isolated case of zoster in an apparently healthy young or middle-aged adult is probably not an indicator of an underlying immunodeficiency. HIV testing is considered when a patient who engages in high-risk behavior (sexual activities, drug use) develops zoster. Testing for HIV is also indicated when herpes zoster is protracted, recurrent, or involves multiple dermatomes.
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