People living with HIV are particularly encouraged to receive vaccinations against some illnesses, such as the hepatitis A and B viruses and against flu and pneumococcal disease. There are other vaccinations that are safe for people with HIV and which might be useful or necessary, perhaps because of travel plans. It is known that, although vaccines are effective in people with HIV, their immune response to vaccines can be reduced, and sometimes a ‘booster’ dose is needed to get the full effect of the vaccine. It has not been clear, however, whether HIV has an impact on the longer-term protective effect of vaccines. Now an analysis of studies looking at this issue has concluded that the effect of vaccinations does last less time in people with HIV than in HIV-negative people.
The researchers have made recommendations for increased doses of, and/or monitoring antibody responses to, key vaccinations for people with HIV, but they caution that many of the studies they analysed were small, so their conclusions should be explored in larger studies, as well as feeding in to vaccine research.
The full article can be read here.