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HIV and VACCINES
Apr 10, 2000

Dear Doctor ,,

I'm infected with HIV for one year ..I'm still fit and healthy ...not on any antiviral treatment.I have 3 questions here :(1)can you please tell me what are the vaccines which I need to take as a precaution..for other infections if I'm HIV+ ?..(2) which vaccines are safe to take if I'm HIV+ ?..(3) which vaccines are not safe to take if I'm HIV+ ?please answer my 3 questions! many thanks in advance

Response from Dr. Feinberg

All HI+s should get the vaccine for pneumococcal pneumonia, hepatitis B if they aren't immune from prior hep B infection, and hepatitis A if blood tests are positive for prior hepatitis C. The Public Health Service recommends annual influenza vaccination, but I am not personally convinced that this is necessary unless you are a healthcare worker. I say this because: (1) I have seen little evidence of increased chances of getting influenza and infrequent severe disease from influenza in the past 18 years, (2) viral loads predictably go up after influenza vaccination although they tend to return to prior levels after 1-2 months, and (3) this vaccination has to be repeated annually.

The only vaccines to avoid are the ones that contain live, attenuated (weakened) viruses, such as measles vaccine.


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