Can I get the shingles vaccine?
I’m on Biktarvy, diagnosed 2018 RITA test showed recent infection, undetectable fairly quickly. I’m 59 and I asked about getting the shingles vaccine but was told only at 70. However reading more info it recommends getting the vaccine regardless of age.
Would I need to get it privately as clinician has said no need to have it? Also, is it really realistic and potentially possible to achieve a functional cure?
Hi, how are you doing?
A shingles vaccine is recommended. In most cases this is for people over 60. As you are 59 this would be a discussion with your doctor. Are you having this conversation with your GP or an HIV specialist doctor?
To access the vaccine, there are a few requirements. These are:
- Over 60.
- CD4 count greater than 200
- On established on ART.
These requirements are because the shingles vaccine is live. For a live vaccine it is important you have an immune system that can handle this type of vaccine.
It is also advised to have testing for chicken pox if you are unsure if you’ve had it in the past. This is because it would be better to have the chicken pox vaccine rather than the shingles vaccine in this case.
As far as a functional cure goes, the UK has started offering injectables. This is a treatment that requires an injection once every 2 month instead of taking a daily pill.