Jul 21, 2009
Dear Doc. Is there any data that HIV positive people are more likely to not be able to fight off this new H1N1 flu? If you are positive and you get it can you system fight it off?
thanks, hand washer
Response from Dr. McGowan
Dear Hand Washer (I like your name because it is the best way to prevent getting flu and many other communicable infections!),
So far nothing that indicates that people with HIV are doing poorly with the new H1N1 flu. Of course the full impact of the epidemic has not been analyzed yet. Like with "regular" flu, people with compromised immune systems (such as a low CD4 count) or chronic heart or lung disease would be expected to have worse disease from flu than others. Treatment should be reserved for people with underlying health coditions such as these.
When the vaccine is available it would be a good idea to get it to stay well.
Joe (Also a hand-washer)
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