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Non -existant T cells and H1N1
Oct 16, 2009

Hello . been positive for 11 years did meds for 7 but stopped ( many reasons ) But have T's of 5 and load of 50K Since I seem to have no immune system is it really adviseable to get untested H1N1 vaccine since it needs some sort of immune system or best to stay from crowds and avoid possible infection. No opportunistic problems health pretty good except for depression.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

It is true that if your immune system is severely compromised or deficient (from HIV or any other cause), you might not mount a very vigorous immune response to vaccines. However, even with very limited CD4 T cells, the seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines are still recommended, as they will still provide some degree of protection. It's also a good idea for anyone with a severely compromised immune system to avoid crowds.

I'm very concerned about your decision to stop your antiretroviral medications. I'm well aware how difficult these drugs can be to take over long periods of time. (I've been on them for over a decade.) However, the consequences of not taking them are great. Your very low CD4 count leaves you at significant risk for a wide variety of opportunistic infections and malignancies. Over the past several years, a number of new and novel antiretroviral drugs have been released. I strongly urge you to talk to your HIV specialist and consider trying these new agents. They are less toxic, better tolerated and remarkably effective. I urge you to give them a try.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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