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Shingles vaccine and Meds
Apr 27, 2008

Hello and thanks for all the valuable information. I'm taking Atripla - cd's are 550 and no viral load - positive for 20 years - meds for last 18 months. I'm in great shape, running, cycling and working out. Two of my 7 siblings and my father have all had shingles - very painful and lingering. My insurance offers me the new shingles vaccine at age 60 - this summer. My G.P. recommended that I get it, but my infectious disease doctor said "No way!"

Your thoughts?

Thanks, John H

Response from Dr. Moyle

In immunocompromised persons, including patients with advanced HIV infection, varicella (shingles) vaccination is currently contraindicated for fear of disseminated vaccine-induced disease. Vaccine safety is however being evaluated in asymptomatic HIV-infected children with CD4 counts of more than 1000, and a killed varicella vaccine has been studied in varicalla-positive bone marrow transplant patients where a multiple-dose schedule has been shown to reduce the severity of zoster. Your HIV cannot be considered 'advanced' based on your CD4 count but a killed vaccine would certainly be preferred if possible. Most likely you would make a reasonable protective response to the vaccine Hope this helps Kind regards Graeme Moyle



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