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Dangers of Smallpox Vaccines

Oct 2, 2002

I am in the Military and have a question regarding fellow comrades being vaccinated with a live smallpox vaccine. I work in a small office with about 30 other military individuals. Five of them are considered first responders and are soon to be vaccinated with a live smallpox vaccine. I am HIV+, my CD4 count is 287 and my viral load is 9000. I just started on meds (Viracept, Viread and Epivir) a few months ago. My Captain says that because of the risk of me being exposed to the individuals vaccinated, I should stay and work from home for at least 14 days. What is your opinion and what are my risks to danger working close to live smallpox vaccinated individuals? Thank you. Worried in DC.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Although we have no experience with small pox vaccination in the HIV era and risk of transmission, I agree it would be prudent to be out of the office, given your immune status for that period of time.

CD4 114 vl 367000
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