The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Bacterial Infections

Aug 16, 2008

Hi Dr. Frascino:

Are upper respiratory bacterial infections an indication that a persons CD4 count is droping? How is it possible for a person living with HIV who has received a flu and pneumonia vaccine and on antiviral drugs (Atripla) with <50 VL still able to get a bacterial/viral infection?

Response from Dr. Frascino


Are upper respiratory bacterial infections an indication a person's CD4 count is dropping? No, not necessarily. Lots of folks with perfectly normal immune systems get upper respiratory infections, both bacterial and viral.

How is it possible that an HIVer who has received flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumovax) and is also on antiretroviral drugs (VL <50) still acquires bacterial/viral infections? The reason is that vaccines are very specific. The flu vaccine protects you from influenza, one type of viral respiratory infection. There are many, many more viral respiratory infections that being vaccinated with Fluvax would not protect you from, the "common cold," for instance. The same holds true for the pneumococcal vaccine. It protects you from one type of bacterial infection (pneumococcal), but offers no protection against other types of bacterial infections.

Dr. Bob

Get Meds Now?!!
Diving platelets make a splash

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint