What Adults with HIV Infection Should Know About the Novel H1N1 Flu (formerly called swine flu)
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.
See additional information on treatment
of novel H1N1 flu.
When should people with HIV/AIDS be prescribed antiviral medications for
the prevention (also called "chemoprophylaxis") of novel H1N1 flu?
HIV-infected adults and adolescents who are close contacts of persons with
novel H1N1 flu should receive antiviral chemoprophylaxis. Please check the CDC
website frequently for updates in
recommendations for antiviral chemoprophylaxis.
Are the medicines used to treat and prevent infection with the novel H1N1
flu virus safe for people with HIV/AIDS?
There is not a lot of information on the interaction between anti-flu
medications and HIV antiretrovirals. No adverse effects have been reported
among HIV-infected adults and adolescents who received oseltamivir or
zanamivir. There are no known major drug interactions between oseltamivir
or zanamivir with currently available antiretroviral medications used to treat
HIV infection. If you are prescribed oseltamivir or zanamivir and think
you might be having a reaction to the drug, contact your health care provider.
Healthcare providers should observe patients for possible adverse drug
reactions to anti-influenza agents, especially patients with neurologic
problems or decreased kidney function.
How else should people with HIV/AIDS prepare?
Stay informed. Health officials will provide additional information as it
becomes available on the CDC website.