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Reuters Health Information (2010-11-25): Prior HBV immunization effective after HIV diagnosis


Prior HBV immunization effective after HIV diagnosis

Last Updated: 2010-11-25 11:00:24 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People with HIV seem well protected against hepatitis B virus (HBV) provided they were immunized before their HIV infection, researchers report in a November 4th online paper in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

"Our findings suggest that HBV vaccination of HIV-negative individuals, as is done in the US, will likely result in continued decreasing prevalence of HBV infection in HIV-infected adults." Dr. Michael L. Landrum told Reuters Health by email.

Dr. Landrum of the Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and colleagues came to this conclusion after studying data on 1877 members of a military cohort who were HBV-free at the time of HIV diagnosis. A positive vaccine response was defined as hepatitis B surface antibody level of at least 10 IU/L.

In all, 80% percent of the 441 who received HBV vaccine doses only before HIV diagnosis had a positive vaccine response. The corresponding proportion was 66% in those who received doses both before and after HIV. It was 41% in those vaccinated only after HIV.

Compared with the 557 unvaccinated participants, those who were vaccinated prior to HIV had a significantly reduced risk of HBV (hazard ratio, 0.38). No other vaccination groups showed a reduced risk.

These data, the researchers conclude, "suggest that completion of the vaccine series prior to HIV infection may be the optimal strategy for preventing this significant comorbid infection in HIV-infected persons."


Am J Epidemiol 2010.

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