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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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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, including 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 communities.

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 website frequently.

WebMD Public Information from the CDC

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