A vaccine can help people living with HIV to avoid the possibly harmful effects of seasonal flu. Don’t forget your flu jab this autumn.
Yes. People living with HIV are considered to be an at-risk group and are eligible for a free annual flu vaccination.
The influenza vaccine (flu jab) protects against different strains of flu. Unlike a cold, flu can have serious symptoms such as fever and painful limbs. It can lead to complications - especially in at-risk groups. These can include chest infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
You can get a flu jab through your GP and some pharmacies - the vaccination is usually available from October. You will need to get one every year.
Yes, the flu jab is safe to have if you're living with HIV - in fact, it will reduce your chance of getting ill with flu over the winter months.
No. The flu jab does not interact with any HIV medications and is safe to have whatever HIV treatment you're taking.
As well as people living with HIV, the following groups are eligible for the flu jab:
People with HIV are also recommended to have a pneumococcal vaccination (known as a ‘pneumo jab’). This will protect you against infections such as pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia.
You may only need one vaccination or it might need to be repeated after five years. You will be able to get the vaccination from your GP, so you could have it at the same time as your flu jab.
If your GP doesn’t know about your HIV status please speak to someone at your HIV clinic about where to get vaccinated.
The Health Wealth and Happiness Project supports the financial, emotional and physical wellbeing of over 50s living with HIV in Brighton, Bristol, London, Manchester and the West Midlands.
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This article was last reviewed on
by Anna Peters
Date due for the next review: 11/10/2020
Content Author: Kerri Virani
Current Owner: Kerri Virani
Annual flu programmegov.uk September 2017
Flu jabNHS Choices July 2017
Complications of fluNHS Choices April 2015
Symptoms of fluNHS Choices April 2015
Pneumococcal vaccineNHS Choices February 2016
Living with HIVNHS Choices July 2017
Pneumococcal diseaseNAM aidsmap Greta Hughson, Michael Carter October 2013
Influenza (‘flu’)NAM aidsmap Greta Hughson, Selina Corkery October 2013
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