People living with HIV should receive two different vaccines to help prevent serious strep-related illness, according to new recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) published October 12 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly.  In addition to the long-standing recommendation that people with “immunocompromising conditions” 19 years of age and older receive Pneumovax 23 (23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or PPSV23), ACIP now recommends the addition of Prevnar 13 (13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or PCV13).  

The CDC notes that Streptococcus pneumonia remains a leading cause of serious illness, including infection of the blood (bacteremia), meningitis and pneumonia in the U.S., particularly among people living with HIV and other chronic health conditions.  

Adults living with HIV who have already received the Pneumovax-23 vaccine should speak with their health care providers about receiving the Prevnar 13 vaccine.  Prevnar 13 should be given no sooner than one year after Pneumovax 23 was last administered. Conversely, adults living with HIV who have not received either vaccine should first receive Prevnar 13, followed by Pneumovax 23 eight weeks later.

To read the ACIP recommendations, click here.