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Some Immunizations May Be Wise For PWA's

July 1999

The information on this page was taken from the HIVDENT website at

Immunocompromised people are at higher risk for many types of infections.

Both pneumococcal and influenza vaccine are thought to be helpful in adults with HIV infection. For adults who have not completed routine childhood immunization schedules, guidance is listed in the table below. Hepatitis B vaccine should be considered for all sexually active adults who do not have serologic evidence of prior exposure.

Little specific research has been completed on the effectiveness of immunizations in HIV-infected people. Therefore, the efficacy of vaccines in preventing these infections in people with HIV/AIDS has not been proven.

All patients traveling to other countries should be evaluated for required immunizations and prophylaxis based on their destinations.

To receive a directory on how to request travel information, call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at (888) 232-3299 or check the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web page at

Recommended immunizations for HIV-positive patients traveling to developing countries

Immune globulin
(omit if patient has serologic evidence of Hepatitis A)

Hepatitis A vaccine
if travels often and no serologic evidence of Hepatitis A

Measles or MMR
(omit if patient has immunity evidence)

inactivated parenteral

enhanced inactivated

Cholera, meningococcus, plague, rabies, yellow fever

Adapted from AIDS Clinical Care

Immunizations for HIV-positive adults and adolescents

Vaccine TypeAsymptomatic HIV DiseaseSymptomatic HIV Disease
Pneumococcal yes (every 5 years) yes (every 5 years)
Influenza yes (yearly) yes (yearly)
Tetanus booster yes if indicated (every 10 years) yes if indicated
Hepatitis B* yes if seronegative yes if seronegative
Hepatitis A yes if at high risk yes if at high risk
Measles yes if otherwise indicated yes if otherwise indicated
Varicella zoster NO NO

Immunizations for HIV-positive children

Vaccine TypeAsymptomatic HIV DiseaseSymptomatic HIV Disease
DTP yes yes
Inactivated PV yes yes
HiB Conjugate yes yes
HBV yes yes
Pneumococcal yes yes
Influenza yes yes
MMR yes consider

This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).

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This article was provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles. It is a part of the publication Positive Living.