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Flu Season Advice for People Living with HIV


Ronald Valdiserri from the White House Office of HIV/AIDS Policy last week provided an updated overview of information to help people with HIV stay healthy during the flu season. HIV positive people -- especially those with advanced immune deficiency -- are more susceptible to influenza infection and have a higher risk for complications, though some recent studies have not demonstrated worse outcomes.

The recommendations, available in full at the Department of Health and Human Services', include influenza immunization -- not too late, even though the season is already underway -- with an injected inactivated or killed virus vaccine (the nasal attenuated virus vaccine is not safe for people with immune deficiency).

Other recommendations include avoiding contact with people who have the flu, frequent hand-washing, and contacting a health-care provider if symptoms develop. In some cases clinicians may prescribe antiviral medications that can reduce flu severity and duration.

More information -- including a factsheet on HIV/AIDS and the Flu -- is available via the CDC’s flu website and



R Valdiserri. Staying Healthy During Flu Season: Advice for People Living with HIV/AIDS. December 5, 2011.