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Reuters Health Information (2004-11-01): Hepatitis A vaccine safe in HIV patients


Hepatitis A vaccine safe in HIV patients

Last Updated: 2004-11-01 13:48:10 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - An inactivated hepatitis A vaccine appears to be safe and well tolerated in patients with HIV infection, according to researchers.

In the October 15th issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Dr. Mark A. Wallace of the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, and colleagues, note that although hepatitis A vaccination is attractive in this susceptible population, safety and efficacy data are limited.

To investigate further, the researchers gave 90 HIV-uninfected subjects an inactivated hepatitis A vaccine. A further 90 HIV-infected patients were randomized in a double-blind fashion to vaccine or placebo. Half of the HIV-infected subjects had baseline CD4 counts below 300 cells per microliter.

At week 28, seroconversion rate in the uninfected controls was 100% and in the HIV-infected subjects, 94%. In patients with CD4 counts below 300 cell per microliter, seroconversion was 87% and in those with higher counts it was 100%.

The vaccine was generally well tolerated and no adverse effects on either HIV load or CD4 cell count were seen.

In light of these findings, the researchers conclude that "vaccination should be considered as part of the preventative care of the HIV-infected patient."

Clin Infect Dis 2004;39:1207-1213.

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