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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

What Adults with HIV Infection Should Know About the Novel H1N1 Flu (formerly called swine flu)

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    HIV-infected people should do the same things as they would do for routine seasonal flu – contact your health care provider and follow his or her instructions. He or she will determine if laboratory testing or treatment is needed.

    If you are sick, stay home and keep away from others as much as possible. This is to keep from making others sick. If you have novel H1N1 flu, you should stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

    If you need to go to a doctor’s office, to an emergency room, or to any other healthcare facility to be evaluated, cover your mouth and nose with a facemask if a facemask is available and tolerable, or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Let the office staff know you are there because you think you might have novel H1N1 flu.

    For more information on what to do if you are sick see:

    Is there a vaccine against this the H1N1 flu virus?

    No. There is currently no vaccine for the novel H1N1 flu. The vaccine given for seasonal flu does not protect against the novel H1N1 flu. If a vaccine against novel H1N1 flu becomes available, CDC will make recommendations for people with HIV/AIDS. Researchers are presently working to develop a vaccination against novel H1N1 flu.

    Is there treatment against novel H1N1 flu for people with HIV/AIDS?

    Yes. The novel H1N1 flu virus is sensitive to two antiviral drugs: zanamivir and oseltamivir. HIV-infected adults and adolescents who meet current case-definitions for confirmed, probable or suspected infection with novel H1N1 flu should receive antiviral treatment. Treatment is most effective if started within 48 hours of symptom onset. Please check the CDC website frequently for updates in recommendations for antiviral treatment.

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