From the Journals

Adult HIV patients should receive standard vaccinations, with caveats



Live vaccines

Live vaccines are a concerning issue for HIV-infected adults and recommendations for use are generally tied to the CD4 T-cell count. The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine seems to be safe in patients infected with HIV with a CD4 count greater than 200 cells/mm3, according to Dr. El Chaer and his colleague. Similarly, patients with HIV with CD4 counts greater than 200 cells/mm3 and no evidence of documented immunity to varicella should receive the varicella vaccine.

In contrast, the live, attenuated varicella zoster virus vaccine is not recommended for patients infected with HIV, and it is contraindicated if CD4 count is less than 200 cells/mm3. Recently, a herpes zoster subunit vaccine (HZ/su) was tested in a phase 1/2a randomized, placebo-controlled study and was found to be safe and immunogenic regardless of CD4 count, although it has not yet been given a specific recommendation for immunocompromised patients.

“With the widespread use of ART resulting in better HIV control, clinical vaccine development plans should include patients with HIV and other at-risk populations because they often carry much of the disease burden,” the authors concluded.

The study was not sponsored. Dr. El Chaer and his colleague reported that they had no conflicts.

SOURCE: El Chaer F et al. Am J Med. 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2018.12.011.

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