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Vaccine. 2012 Sep 7;30 Suppl 3:C61-5. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.02.040.

Immunising the HIV-infected child: a view from sub-Saharan Africa.

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  • 1Department of Virology, Medunsa Campus, University of Limpopo/NHLS Dr George Mukhari Tertiary Laboratory, Pretoria, South Africa.


The HIV-infected children are prone to multitude of infections. In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV/AIDS is certainly an important acquired immunodeficiency and is more likely to negatively impact on immunisation programmes than other forms of immunodeficiencies. Although HIV infection is generally not a contra-indication for immunisation, high background HIV prevalence in the region may result in lower rates of vaccine immunogenicity, efficacy and population immunity. Nevertheless, vaccination is still better than natural infection; the risk of vaccination far outweighs the risk of infection with the pathogen. The primary focus of this review is to discuss the lessons learned in vaccinating HIV-infected children particularly with key live-attenuated vaccines in Africa such as Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), measles, oral polio vaccine (OPV), yellow fever and rotavirus. Immunisation against influenza virus, a common cause of respiratory illness, is also discussed as multiple guidelines recommend influenza vaccination for number of groups at high risk such as patients infected with HIV.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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