Responses to hepatitis vaccinations: an optimum window for protection?

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

HIV positive people often belong to groups associated with high risk for hepatitis infection, and guidelines therefore recommend screening HIV patients for hepatitis A, B and C when diagnosed with HIV, and subsequent vaccination for hepatitis A and B when antibodies for either virus is not present.

However, the effectiveness of vaccinations is reduced even with relatively low reductions of CD4 levels. CD4 increases following HAART have previously been reported not to return to earlier response levels with all vaccines, so there is may be only a short window period to obtain protection for many HIV-positive individuals.

Several interesting poster presentations contributed to understanding determinants of vaccine response, and one study suggested that this could be safely increased by doubling the dose of vaccine used in HIV patients.

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