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Flu Vaccine Pros and Cons
Sep 9, 2003

What do you think: How necessary do you think it is that someone with HIV get a flu vaccine? Should someone on treatment also get a vaccine? Are there any dangers to flu vaccines?

Thanks!

Response from Dr. Young

Influenza kills thousands of Americans every year. This is largely a vaccine-preventable illness and I believe very strongly that all HIV infected persons (and their household contacts) should get annual vaccinations. Having once had influenza, I can say from first-hand experience that I never, ever want to go through that again.

There are no significant risks to getting vaccinated, other than a sore arm and rarely, low grade fever for a day or two. Note that HIV viral load tests should not be done for a week or two after any vaccination, since the immune stimulation can also cause HIV viral loads to go up transiently. BY



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