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Swine flu
May 2, 2009

* Does Tamiflu and Relenza etc interact adversely with HIV meds - i.e can we take theses if we are on HIV ARVs? * Are people living with HIV of more risk to this virus than the general population?

*Anything special people living with HIV should do in the face of this threat?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Mexican-guy,

Your chances of contracting swine flu are the same as your neggie counterparts. As for what would happen if you contracted swine flu, no one knows for certain, as this is a new strain of flu, with your current excellent (normal) CD4 count I would anticipate you would handle the infection as well as anyone else, including those folks who don't have HIV. However, as with so many other infections in those of us living with HIV, there may well be a transient spike in the plasma HIV viral load.

No additional precautions are recommended at this point. See below. The one thing I would recommend to all HIVers is not to be shy about calling their doctors if they develop symptoms consistent with swine flu infection, including significant fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. So far the swine flu appears to be susceptible to at least two antiviral drugs (Tamiflu and Relenza). However, to be effective these drugs need to be taken as soon as possible after someone develops flu symptoms.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Swine flu and HIV-infected People May 2, 2009

Any special precautions that people with HIV should take in the face of swine flu?

Are there interactions between HIV meds and swine flu meds?

should i get a flu vaccine now if I didnt get one before the winter?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

No, none is being recommended at this time. (See below.) But stay tuned and we'll keep you posted, OK?

Dr. Bob

Swine Flu Apr 30, 2009

Hello Dr. Bob. I am asking this question in hopes that you will respond and people will read it.

What additional precautions (besides the normal ones) can an HIV positive person take in regards to this swine flu that is one step away from becoming a pandemic?

Thanks, Dr. Bob, and God bless.

Sincerely,

Joe

Swine flu (H1N1 flu) and concerns for people living with HIV

A total of 141 cases of swine flu are now confirmed in 19 states. One death has occurred in Texas. The US government has heightened its investigation and reports will be updated as they are known. Project Inform is concerned that all people living with HIV have the information they need as this story develops. We are committed to providing reliable information and resources as they have been developed. Below are points for HIV-positive people to consider, along with appropriate links, including the CDC's Interim Guidelines for people with HIV. Check Project Inform's website for more information.

POINTS TO CONSIDER:

Those who have recently traveled to Mexico or have come in contact with them may be at risk for this flu. The CDC now recommends that people avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico.

Report any change in health to your health provider as soon as you recognize symptoms. Symptoms of swine flu are typical flu symptoms: fever, fatigue, aches and pains, sore throat and trouble breathing, among others. Limit contact with others if you're feeling flu-like symptoms, except when seeking medical care.

Avoid crowds of people or individuals who appear to have flu-like symptoms.

Wash your hands often throughout the day, and avoid touching your face with your hands.

Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir) may be prescribed by a doctor. The CDC reports that these are effective against this strain of swine flu. These products have not been well studied in people with HIV. Consult Project Inform's publication, Flu Season and Living with HIV, for general information on the flu.

Recommendations may change over time as more is learned.

RESOURCES:

Centers for Disease Control; Homeland Security; CDC Interim Guidance; Swine influenza and you; Swine flu and you.


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