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Zoster Vaccine Proves Immunogenic in HIV

Clin Infect Dis; ePub 2018 Mar 26; Benson, et al

Because HIV-infected patients are more susceptible to herpes zoster infection than the average person, researchers wanted to test the value of a vaccine to determine if it provides protection for this vulnerable population. Their randomized controlled trial (RCT) concluded that it does.

  • The RCT, which was double-blind and placebo controlled, involved 395 HIV-infected adults, all of whom were on antiretroviral medication and were virologically suppressed.
  • Injection site reactions occurred in 42% of patients on the live attenuated vaccine, compared to 12.4% of those on placebo.
  • Herpes zoster vaccine antibody titers were significantly higher in patients who received the vaccine.
  • Vaccine antibody titers were similar for patients on 1 or 2 doses.
  • Investigators concluded that 2 doses of the vaccine in patients with CD4+ counts at or above 200 cells/µL is safe and immunogenic.


Benson CA, Andersen JW, Macatangay BJC, et al. Safety and immunogenicity of zoster vaccine live in HIV-Infected adults with CD4+ Cell counts above 200 cells/mL virologically suppressed on antiretroviral therapy. [Published online ahead of print March 26, 2018]. Clin Infect Dis. doi:10.1093/cid/ciy242.