Why We Need An Hiv Vaccine
There are many treatments for HIV, but it’s still important to develop vaccines. HIV drugs have side effects, are expensive, and can be hard for people in some countries to get. You can also develop a problem called “drug resistance,” which means you’ll need to switch to new medications when the ones you’re using stop working well for you.
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of HIV. These include:
- Lower the number of people you have sex with.
- Use a condom when you have sex.
- Take medicine every day called pre-exposure prophylaxis , such as emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate or emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide .
Even so, thousands of people in the U.S. each year are diagnosed with HIV. An HIV vaccine could help prevent HIV infection and save lives.
Centers For Disease Control And Prevention
- CDC.gov/coronavirusThis site provides the latest public health and safety information on COVID-19 from CDC for consumers and the medical and health provider community.
- COVID-19 Vaccines for Moderately to Severely Immunocompromised PeopleThis page offers information for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised, including those with advanced or untreated HIV.
- COVID-19 and People with Certain Medical ConditionsThis page provides information for people with certain medical conditions associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19.
- Science Brief: Evidence for Medical Conditions Associated with Severe COVID-19This brief summarizes the scientific evidence used to inform specific CDC guidance related to certain medical conditions, including HIV.
The Oxford/astrazeneca Vaccine In People With Hiv
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine studies recruited 54 people with HIV in the UK and 103 people with HIV in South Africa. Two reports have been published on the HIV-positive participants. They show that the vaccine produced the same strength of immune response in people with HIV and people without HIV. There was no difference between people with HIV and others in the common vaccine side effects of sore injection site, headache, chills, tiredness or muscle and joint pains. People in both studies had high CD4 counts and were on antiretroviral treatment. Six months after completing the full vaccination course, the people with HIV in this study showed a decline in antibody and T-cell responses to the vaccine. However, there was no significant difference to HIV-negative people in the studies.
Recommended Reading: How Old To Get Meningitis Vaccine
Fionnuala Murphy Head Of Influence Frontline Aids
There is no evidence to suggest any of the vaccines approved so far will be unsafe for people with HIV, and we are certainly hopeful, but the evidence just isnt there yet.
For the majority of people living with HIV worldwide, however, this is a moot point … as many as 90% of people in low- and middle-income countries are unlikely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 next year.
Reporting by Rachel Savage @rachelmsavage Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit news.trust.org
Other Vaccines In People With Hiv
The Novavax vaccine is awaiting approval. . No difference in side effects between HIV-positive and HIV-negative participants was reported. Overall efficacy of the vaccine was 49.4% , with a higher efficacy when the HIV-positive participants were excluded . The very wide confidence intervals indicate that these results should be treated with caution.
There is limited information on the effectiveness of other WHO-approved vaccines in people with HIV.
A small study of people with HIV in China who received either of the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines found lower antibody and T-cell responses after vaccination compared to HIV-negative people. A second study, of a cohort of 42 people living with HIV with high CD4 counts, found that people with HIV had similar antibody and cellular immune responses after vaccination to those observed in a control group of 28 HIV-negative people.
Don’t Miss: Which Vaccines Are Linked To Autism
Flu & People Living With Hiv
People with HIV are at high risk of serious influenza-related complications.
Human immunodeficiency virus is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome . HIV attacks cells in the bodys immune system called CD4 cells and, if untreated, gradually destroys the bodys ability to fight infection and certain cancers. CDC estimates that about 1.1 million people in the United States aged 13 years and older were living with HIV at the end of 2016, the most recent year for which this information is available.
People with HIV are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications, especially those who have a very low CD4 cell count or who are not taking medicine to treat HIV . Studies done before routine use of antiretroviral therapy suggested an increased risk for heart- and lung-related hospitalizations in people with HIVexternal icon during flu season as opposed to other times of the year. Other studies have indicated that flu symptoms might be prolonged and the risk of flu-related complications and prolonged flu virus sheddingexternal icon is higher for certain people living with HIV.
This page addresses recommendations related to flu shots for people with HIV and the use of influenza antiviral drugs in people living with HIV.
Third Vaccine Doses And Booster Doses For People With Hiv
Doctors draw a distinction between a third vaccine dose and a booster dose.
A third vaccine dose is needed if you are less likely than other people to have had a satisfactory response to the recommended two-dose course. This is regarded as part of the standard vaccination course for people at higher risk of sub-optimal vaccine responses.
In the United Kingdom, you should be offered a third dose at least eight weeks after your second dose if you have any of the following:
- A CD4 count below 200
- HIV-related symptoms or active tuberculosis, regardless of CD4 count
- A detectable viral load after being on HIV treatment for at least a year
- No current antiretroviral treatment.
A booster dose protects against the gradual loss of vaccine protection that typically occurs. It is taken after a persons first vaccine course has been completed.
A booster dose may be needed six months or more after a two- or three-dose course, even by people who had a satisfactory response to the course.
If you had a three-dose course in the UK, you will be offered a fourth booster dose from March 2022.
Even if you previously had the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the third dose or booster dose should be of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Using different types of vaccine may improve the immune response this is quite a common practice when giving vaccinations.
The HIV Medicine Association has produced a briefing on US guidance regarding COVID-19 vaccines for people with HIV.
Also Check: What Does Vaccine Efficacy Mean
Health Resources And Services Administration
- COVID-19 Information for Health Centers and PartnersThis HRSA Health Center Program page provides the latest information on COVID-19 for health centers and Health Center Program partners. HRSA-funded health centers are a vital part of the nations response to HIV.
- HRSA HAB COVID-19 InformationThis HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau page provides links to resources for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients, subrecipients, and stakeholders who are responding to COVID-19. It includes links to RWHAP COVID-19 FAQs, technical assistance information for CARES Act RWHAP award recipients, and audio and transcripts from HRSA HABs program policy and technical assistance webinars.
- HRSA.gov/coronavirusThis page provides COVID-19 information specific to all HRSA programs and grantees.
Recommendations For Young Adults
The CDC also recommends a three-dose series of the HPV vaccine for certain people who have not completed the early two-dose series. These include:
- Females through age 26
- Men who have sex with men through age 26
In addition, the HPV vaccine is recommended for young adults up to age 26 who are immunocompromised, such as those living with HIV.
Although men get HPV-associated diseases less often than women, vaccination is still recommended. This is especially true for MSM, who are up to 38 times more likely to get anal cancer compared to the general population that jumps to 130 times more likely if they have HIV.
Also Check: Is The Flu Shot A Live Vaccine
Are People With Hiv More Likely To Get Covid
We donât know if people with HIV are more likely to get COVID-19, as more research is needed to understand this. But, people with HIV who have a compromised immune system should take extra precautions to prevent COVID-19. They may be at a higher risk of getting very ill. This includes people with:
a low CD4 count
a high viral load
a recent opportunistic infection, for example, tuberculosis
an AIDS-related illness.
So, itâs very important to take your antiretroviral treatment, especially during this time. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are not taking treatment or if you are struggling withâ¯adherence.
People Living With Hiv Can Now Get A Covid Vaccine Without Having To Tell The Doctor Their Status Right Now Stigma Is Holding Some Back From Coming Forward To Get Their Vaccination
Across the world, around 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV in 2019. This number does not include the cases that are never registered or documented.
The HIV epidemic continues to be a medical crisis in 2021. However, it is also a secretive and highly-stigmatised crisis.
This stigma is so pervasive that in the UK, individuals with HIV feel unable to tell their status to a doctor and resultantly wait further back in the COVID vaccine line. COVID-19 poses a higher risk for those with HIV, so this stigma-influenced silence could have severe consequences.
The i newspaper obtained new guidelines that make it possible for a person with HIV to get the COVID vaccine without telling their GP about their situation.
Local HIV clinics can now arrange access to the COVID-19 vaccine for those uncomfortable with discussing this element of their health with their GP.
It seems that one in five people diagnosed with HIV are worried about discrimination and resultantly keep the information from their doctor.
Head of leading HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust, Ian Green, explained: Some may be surprised to hear that a significant number of people living with HIV feel unable to talk to their GP about their HIV status, but this underlines how much stigma still surrounds the virus even in 2021.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Pneumococcal Vaccine Called
Covid Vaccine Hiv Sub
The same rigorous procedures applied to the HIV sub-study Im taking part in. I noticed a news item about it on aidsmap.com and immediately phoned the clinic conducting the trial. The process, although very friendly and relaxed, was rigorous from the outset and provided reassurance about the integrity and high ethical standards of the study I was about to sign up to.
Find out more: COVID-19 vaccines in people with HIV
A nurse asked me some questions to see if I was eligible to take part . An appointment was then arranged for a ‘screening visit’ at the study clinic with one of the research doctors.
This lasted about an hour and a half. I had a physical examination and answered a seemingly endless set of questions about my health and medical history to make sure I really was eligible to take part in the study. The doctor then explained how the vaccine worked using a deactivated, harmless portion of the coronavirus to stimulate an immune response. The potential side effects were also explained: the main ones are pain at the injection site and feeling fluey for a day or two after being jabbed.
The doctor also provided detailed information about the reason the study was temporarily paused in the summer after a man receiving the experimental vaccine developed a rare nerve condition. However, an independent panel of experts concluded this wasnt due to the vaccine and gave the green light for the trial to continue.
What Are Vaccines And What Do They Do
Vaccines are products made from very small amounts of weak or dead germs that can cause diseases. They help your immune system fight infections faster and more effectively.
When you get a vaccine, it sparks your immune response, helping your body fight off and remember the germ so it can attack it if the germ ever invades again. And since vaccines are made of very small amounts of weak or dead germs, they wont make you sick.
Vaccines are usually administered by a shot, but sometimes can be administered by mouth or nasal spray. They are widely used to prevent diseases like polio, chicken pox, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza , hepatitis A and B, and human papillomavirus .
You May Like: How Long Does Your Arm Hurt After A Vaccine
Information And Support For People Living With Hiv
HIV Ireland continues to offer community support and outreach services for people living with HIV. You can contact the HIV Ireland Community Support Team on 01 8733799 or email
Positive Now All Ireland Network
If you would like to speak to someone living with HIV for support or information you can contact Positive Now Tel: 089 418 8533 or email .
Other Preventive Actions For People With Living With Hiv
In addition to getting a flu shot every year, people living with HIV should take the same everyday preventive actions CDC recommends of everyone, including avoiding people who are sick, covering coughs, and washing hands often.
You May Like: How Does The Gardasil Vaccine Work
Is There A Vaccine Against Hiv
Testing is underway on experimental vaccines to prevent and treat HIV, but no HIV vaccines have been approved for use outside of clinical trials. For more information about experimental HIV vaccines, read the HIVinfo fact sheets What is a Preventive HIV Vaccine? and What is a Therapeutic HIV Vaccine?
Even though there are no vaccines to prevent or treat HIV, people with HIV can benefit from vaccines against other diseases.
Preparing Society For A Hiv Vaccine
At a 2017 workshop in Chennai to understand peoples hope for a human immunodeficiency virus vaccine, a participant said such a vaccine may make society more morally corrupt. He believed that a preventive vaccine may encourage more people to engage in unsafe sex with multiple partners. The respondent had HIV and had experienced stigma and discrimination.
This is called survivors bias, a common behavioural reaction, but there is a lesson in his response for HIV vaccine developers the acceptability of an HIV vaccine will not be an easy journey.
The first human trials of a series of mRNA-based vaccines against HIV began in early 2022 in the US. As epidemiologists and virologists express cautious optimism about their success, it is important to engage behavioural scientists from these early stages of development about a possible rollout.
Vaccine hesitancy is a growing concern that WHO has ranked as top ten threats to global health. Given that hesitancy stems from distrust, the issue must be tackled right from the stage when the product is being designed.
For an HIV vaccine to be acceptable, experts need to strategise from users behaviour-resistance point of view.
Based on Centolas work, the journey of an HIV vaccine needs to be understood through this prism of complex contagions where an intervention needs to cross some critical barriers:
Read Also: How Often Do You Have To Get A Shingles Vaccination
Boosters For People Who Are Immunocompromised & Who Received 3 Doses Of The Vaccine
The time between the third dose and the booster varies by province and territory.
Immunocompromised individuals that received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine series can also obtain a first booster dose and a second booster dose . The time between the third dose and the booster varies by province and territory. Please find more information via the links by province and territory, above.
Which Vaccines Are Recommended For People With Hiv
The following vaccines are recommended for people with HIV:
Based on age or other circumstances, you provider may recommend other vaccines as well.
Talk to your health care provider about which vaccines are recommended for you. For more details, read this information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : HIV Infection and Adult Vaccination.
Recommended Reading: When Do Babies Get Their First Meningitis Vaccine
The Push To Prioritize People Living With Hiv For Covid
Just after the FDA issued its emergency authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a coalition of HIV advocacy organizations sent a letter to the CDC and congressional leaders asking that people living with HIV be considered a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination. The letter, penned by AIDS Action Baltimore and signed by more than a dozen groups, including the Latino Commission on AIDS, NASTAD, and Treatment Action Group, said that recent studies suggest approximately a doubling risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 among people living with HIV compared to HIV-negative counterparts. The letter cites research from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and the U.S.
Even with some evidence suggesting that people with HIVincluding those with an undetectable viral load and absent comorbidities, such as diabetesmay be at a heightened risk of worse COVID-19 outcomes, the fact remains there is no consensus, in part because several other studies have shown no increased risk caused by HIV.
Lynda Dee, the executive director of AIDS Action Baltimore, says she doesnt want to risk any PLWH ending up at the back of the line and feels its inappropriate to distinguish between people with or without an undetectable viral load during a deadly global pandemic. People with HIV have done so much and worked so hard to be undetectable and stay there, said Dee. They need to be included in the CDCs prioritization.