What Adults with HIV Infection Should Know About the Novel H1N1 Flu (formerly called swine flu)
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.
Consult your doctor and make sure all your vaccinations are up-to-date,
vaccination against seasonal influenza and vaccination against bacterial
pneumonia caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae. Bacterial
pneumonia from Streptococcus pneumoniae can be a problem for people
with HIV/AIDS and can also cause complications for people who have the
flu. The vaccine against Streptococcus pneumoniae is different
than the vaccine from the influenza vaccine.
Follow local public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds
and other social distancing measures based on illness in specific
If you haven’t developed a family emergency plan yet, consider developing
one now as a precaution. In particular, make sure to keep your
antiretroviral prescriptions and other prescriptions filled and up-to-date and
to take all of your antiretrovirals as prescribed.
See additional information on planning.
What is CDC doing about H1N1 flu for people with HIV/AIDS?
CDC, in coordination with state and local health departments and with WHO is
working aggressively to understand the epidemiology of this novel H1N1 flu and
determine if it affects HIV-infected people and people with other
immunocompromising conditions differently. As additional information about the
situation become available, the CDC’s recommendations may change. Please
check the CDC H1N1 Flu