Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Traveling With HIV

Traveling With HIV

For people with HIV,  travel can pose specific risks. According to the CDC, travel, especially to developing countries, can increase the risk of contracting opportunistic infections. These infections are referred to as opportunistic because a person's weakened immune system gives the infection the opportunity to develop. The risk varies according to the CD4 cell count. People at highest risk are those with a CD4 cell count of less than 200 per cubic millimeter or a history of an AIDS-related illness. 

Special precautions that should be taken if you are traveling with HIV include the following:

Immunization information for persons with HIV

Ask your doctor about special vaccinations that may be necessary before you travel. Make sure all of your routine immunizations are up-to-date. This is especially important for children with HIV who are traveling.

There are other special considerations regarding vaccinations. In general, killed virus vaccines are safe for people with HIV; however, they may not have optimal effectiveness when CD4 cell counts are very low. Live virus vaccines should be avoided by people with advanced HIV and low CD4 cell counts. Certain diseases pose special risks, so review your itinerary thoroughly with your doctor to assess areas that may be dangerous to visit.

Consult your doctor or the CDC for more information regarding specific immunizations you may need before you travel.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Travel Medicine


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