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AIDS, HIV and immunisations

Being HIV positive affects a person's immune system, making them more prone to contracting infections.

Although antiretroviral therapies mean people with HIV can now lead longer and healthier lives, extra protection against infection may be recommended.

This includes having an annual flu jab. The pneumococcal vaccination, with a booster every five to ten years, to protect against chest infections is also recommended.

Vaccination is especially important for people with lower CD4 cell counts, indicating a weakened immune system.

Doctors may want to check that the recommended childhood jabs were all received, such as MMR.

Vaccination for hepatitis B, hepatitis A, and meningitis may also be recommended as well as routine tetanus boosters.

Specific vaccinations may be needed for foreign travel, depending on infectious conditions which are prevalent at the destination. Travel clinics or GPs can advise.

It is also worth remembering that the flu season comes at a different time of year in places like Australia, so earlier vaccination may be advised.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on April 25, 2016

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