|Yellow Fewer Vaccine
Nov 23, 2005
Dr, I have been on Viramune and Combivir for the past 5 years. I have high T-Cell count and undetectable virus levels. I have to travel to Lagos in Nigeria and must have Yellow Fever Vaccine. Is this a problem for me as a HIV+ person? Joe
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your post.
Yours is an important question-- yellow fever can be a devastating illness, with no specific treatment. Because of this, it's recommended that travellers to endemic regions consider yellow fever vaccination.
The problem is that the vaccine is a live virus and therefore might have an increased risk of complications among persons with impaired immunity, such as HIV-infected persons (this is in contrast to inactivated vaccines, like influneza A or pneumococcal vaccines). Because of this, I don't recommend the vaccine unless there's a real need.
Fortunately, there are a number of cohort studies that show that among HIV-infected persons with higher CD4 counts, the rates of complications from the vaccine are essentially the same as the HIV-negative population. You've not mentioned your CD4 cell count, but since you've been on meds for 5 years, my guess is that it's probably pretty good. If your CD4 count is about or above 350, yellow fever vaccine should be safe to admininster.
Good luck, travel safe. BY
First year stats
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