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Mumps Outbreak- Immunize?
May 18, 2006

I live in Iowa.. and there has been an outbreak of mumps of sorts. Mostly on college campuses (I'm in a college town). I'm not a college student. Should I be immunized for mumps? I'm a 50 y/o male HIV+. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Daar

The vaccine for mumps is given as part of the "MMR" or measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. In general those born before 1957, which would be you if you are 50 years old are considered to be immune. For those born in 1957 or later who do not have a history of mumps it is recommended that they receive a single injection of MMR. If there are questions about whether you are immune to measles or mumps a blood test can be performed by your primary provider. For what it is worth, living in a college town would probably not put you in a high risk group for either infection since transmission risk relates more to the close living conditions on campus than the community in which you live.

It is important for you and others to know that the "MMR" vaccine is a so called live attenuated vaccine rather than a killed vaccine. Since it does include live virus it is recommended that those who are immunosuppressed should not receive this vaccine. In the setting of HIV infection this would only apply to those with severe immunosuppression. In contrast, those with higher CD4 cells can receive this vaccine if it is indicated. I suggest you contact your provider and discuss these issues further.

Best, Eric


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