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RE:smallpox vacc.
Nov 12, 2001

Hello. I have seen this question asked in another forum, and I for one do not see this question being answered in a proper way. Question: If a smallpox vacc. is needed, how does an HIV person protect themselves?" I dont find your answer " it is not recommended for HIV people to be vacc. and 1 out of 3 people die if infected." I don't find that very encouraging information. If God forbid the day comes where the vacc. is needed, HOW DO HIV people protect themselves? And what if a person has a CD4 count of say 500, 600 or 700, would that be considered too risky? You make it sound like we should put our heads between our legs and kiss our butts goodbye.

This is a very legitimate question that deserves a better answer. We who have been living with HIV now have something else hanging over our heads.

I have heard something about some kind of antibiotic given to people with low immune systems, is this true?

Help us out here. I am not saying people should freak out about this, but,it is a topic of concern.

Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

It IS a legitimate question, and I gave a legitmate answer. It's an issue of safety: people with impaired immune systems can get sick from the very disease the vaccine was meant to prevent. There are no data that say it would be safe for persons with more than 500 CD4 cells. Of course, an individual person and his/her doctor may choose to take whatever risks they are willing to accept. Across the board, live attenuated (weakened) virus vaccines are not recommended for immunodeficient persons; it's not just smallpox vaccine that isn't recommended.


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