Earlier this week we blogged about the recent flu and mentioned that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was finalizing interim guidance for clinicians for the management of patients with HIV who have been exposed to or who have contracted this flu. Yesterday, the CDC published Interim Guidance-HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents: Considerations for Clinicians Regarding Swine-Origin Influenza A (H1N1) Virus.
Any influenza carries potential risks for persons with HIV. Adults and adolescents with HIV, especially persons with low CD4 cell counts, are at higher risk for viral and bacterial lower respiratory tract infections and for recurrent pneumonias. Because adults and adolescents with HIV experience more severe complications of seasonal influenza, it is reasonable to assume that they are also at higher risk for complications related to this flu.
This guidance will be updated as more information becomes available. The CDC strongly encourages clinicians to familiarize themselves with the interim guidance and encourages organizations with websites to link to this information which is available at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/guidance_HIV.htm
You may have also noticed that we’ve been promoting the flu widget (available in Spanish and English). We are very grateful to all the AIDS service organizations who have added the widget to their websites and blogs. Widgets can be an effective way to share public health information. In future blog posts, we will explore how we can continue to use this tool in our HIV work.