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flumist in mixed status couples
Dec 1, 2004

Hi:

I am in a relationship with a poz guy and i am currently negagive in status.

I've always in the past recieved a flu shot, bu thtis year, with the shortage, that can't happen. I've considered the option of the flumust vaccine. I know its not safe for a HIV poz person, but is it Ok for me to take this if i am around my partner. I have read that there is a risk of being able to pass on the vaccine virus strains.

.. and does this risk outweigh the risk of me bringing home a case of the flu?

.. I'm sure its not cut and dry, but i'd appreciate your input.

Thanks

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

Since Flumist is a live virus vaccine, recipients of the vaccine may shed the live virus after vaccination. Because live virus vaccinations are not recommended for persons with immune deficiency, household contacts of HIV+ persons should avoid vaccinations with such products.

As for bringing home influenza, I tell all of my patients during flu season to be sure to periodically wash your hands with soap and water (or the newer alcohol-based antibacterial products), since most innoculations of influenza occur through so-called auto-innoculation by rubbing one's eyes or nose with hands that may have come in contact with infected body fluids. Should you or your partner develop flu symptoms, be sure to contact your physician as soon as possible, since there are effective medications to treat influenza (and possibly decrease the risk of subsequent transmission).

Thanks for reading. BY



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