Medicines and vaccines are used to prevent infections and certain
diseases (opportunistic infections) that are more common in
Primary prevention means
preventing illness before it occurs. Immunizations (vaccines) are one kind of
primary prevention. Medicines that kill or control the organisms that cause
infections are another type of primary prevention.
Secondary prevention means preventing a disease that a person
has already had from coming back. This is usually done with medicines that slow
or prevent the growth of the organisms that cause infections.
Generally, infection with HIV doesn't make people sick, except for
the flu-like illness that may develop shortly after they become infected. Most
people who are infected with HIV get sick because their
immune systems become weak and cannot fight off other
infections. So preventing opportunistic infections is an important part of
treatment for HIV.
If you have been diagnosed with HIV infection, make sure that you and
your partner are up to date on the following immunizations:
Flu (influenza) inactivated vaccine, given
yearly. You should not get the nasal vaccine, since it is a live vaccine.
Hepatitis A vaccine, given in a series
of 2 shots.
Hepatitis B vaccine, given in a series
of 3 shots.
Combination hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine, given
in a series of 3 shots.
Pneumococcal vaccines: PCV and PPSV.
Polio (IPV) (inactivated) vaccine. You should not get the live vaccine.
Tetanus and diphtheria (Td) and Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines.
Also check if you need the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Work with your doctors to decide
which medicines to use, based on:
The type of infection that is present or likely
Which other medicines you are already taking and the
possibility that one medicine might make another less effective (negative
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.