...does HIV viral load rise when I get the flu?
When the flu enters your body, infection-fighting immune cells (your
body’s frontline soldiers) are activated to battle the invader.
Activated CD4 cells are more prone to HIV infection than resting cells;
once infected, they produce more HIV—and your viral load (VL) goes up.
But this jump won’t affect your health, and most studies show that VL
returns to baseline after a month or so. If you’re on HIV meds, your VL
may not bump up at all.
...and when I get a flu shot?
vaccine—an inactive version of the flu virus—gives your immune system a
training exercise at fighting flu, so that it will recognize and defeat
the actual thing when necessary. The vax activates your immune system
(with its precious CD4 cells), but at a much lower level than a real
infection would. So your VL bump is smaller from vaccination than with
the real deal. Get vaxed.