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HIV and Influenza Vaccination

Oct 20, 2002

Dear Dr. Aberg, Greetings from Europe! It is that time of the year when some recommend to take the influenza vaccionation. I have taken it for hte last three years and I am thinking not to take it this year. My CD4 are at around 560 and my vuris level at 10. What do you suggest/recommend? Grateful for your advise. Have a great day. Martin

Response from Dr. Aberg

I usually recommend that everyone infected with HIV get a flu shot. There has been some controversy but for the most part, the flu vaccine is safe and it does prevent certain strains of flu. Individuals with HIV may get more ill when they have the flu compared with individuals who do not have HIV and get the flu. I usually weigh the pros and cons of medicine by risk vs benefit. I think there is little risk in getting a flu shot but if it prevents you from getting the flu, then that is a big benefit.

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