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HIV Positive People and the West Nile Virus
Jul 26, 2001

Dear Doctor, I live in Atlanta and we have just had our first confirmation of the West Nile Virus. Our home is in a relatively wooded area with a small pond, which is a breeding ground for mosquitos.

My question to you is, would an HIV-positive person with a cd4 of 320 and undetectable viral load be at anymore risk of contracting the West Nile Virus than an uninfected individual? Are there any additional precautions an HIV Positive person should take?

Thanks in advance.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

I know of no information that says that HIV+ people are at greater risk for West Nile Virus infection, whether ot not their viral load is well-suppressed. To avoid exposure, use a high-grade insect repellant on all exposed skin areas (DEET content of 17% or higher), and wear long sleeves and long pants especially at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are more likely to picnic on you.

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