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The Body Covers: The 12th International AIDS Conference

Poster Session 42405: The Effectiveness of Hepatitis B Vaccination in HIV-Infected Patients

Coverage provided by Michael Giordano, M.D.

July 2, 1998

Hepatitis B vaccination is strongly recommended for people living with HIV (as well as men who have sex with men, health care workers, and injection drug users) who have not already been exposed to this serious virus. Hepatitis B vaccination is usually administered through a series of three injections over a period of six months, and a protective antibody response is typically found in 90% of people completing the vaccine. This study looked at whether hepatitis B ("Hep B") vaccination is any less effective in patients with HIV, and whether a lower CD4 cell count was associated with increased failure of the vaccine. The study team conducted a retrospective chart review of sixty-seven HIV+ patients who had received the vaccine during the period 1991-1997. The study found that: These results should alert patients and providers to the markedly decreased success rate of Hep B vaccination in HIV-positive patients, the study authors concluded. The researchers urge: When the vaccine is not effective, re-vaccination should be considered. Finally, the researchers announced that the study will go on to examine the impact of HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) on Hep B vaccine effectiveness.

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