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Travel Vaccinations
Feb 6, 2004

Dear Doctor,

I'll soon be going on a 4-week holiday to Chile and Argentina. I'm comes when I'll be taking them. Could you please answer the folowing questions:

1) I'm due my 10 yearly tetanus/diptheria booster and think it would not currently on HIV meds and want to do this trip before the time be sensible to have it before I do the trip. Is this booster safe for an HIV+ person?

2) Is a Hepatitis A vaccination safe? If so, how long will it last for?

3) I was vaccinated against Typhoid back in 1988 (long before I was HIV+). Will I require a booster?

4) I last had a Polio booster back in 1988. I know the Polio vaccine itself can be given as a killed vaccine, but does this also apply to the booster? Do you think I should consider having a booster?

Finally, I'll be doing some mountain walking at altitudes of 5000m. Is it safe for an HIV+ person to trek at this sort of altitude?

Many thanks in advance for answering my questions.

Best wishes,

James.

Response from Dr. Pierone

I hope that your trip is not too soon since we are several weeks behind on questions. In short, tetanus and diphtheria vaccine booster is safe. Hepatitis A vaccine is safe and long-lasting. Typhoid vaccine booster is indicated, but should be with Typhim Vi, not the oral typhoid vaccine (which is a live vaccine and should not be given in HIV-infected). Polio is not endemic in Argentina or Chile and you do not need a booster. Walking at altitude depends to some degree on the level of aerobic conditioning that you possess. Anyone with significant heart or lung disease is more liable to develop challenges with altitude illness, but altitude illness can also strike those with no medical problems that are in good physical condition. The CDC has great links for travel issues and here is a link for altitude illness. Have a great trip!



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