Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected children are at increased risk of infections caused by vaccine preventable pathogens, and specific immunization recommendations have been issued.
Methods: A prospective national multicenter study assessed how these recommendations are followed in Switzerland and how immunization history correlates with vaccine immunity.
Results: Among 87 HIV-infected children (mean age: 11.1 years) followed in the 5 Swiss university hospitals and 1 regional hospital, most (76%) had CD4 T cells >25%, were receiving highly active antiretroviral treatment (79%) and had undetectable viral load (60%). Immunization coverage was lower than in the general population and many lacked serum antibodies to vaccine-preventable pathogens, including measles (54%), varicella (39%), and hepatitis B (65%). The presence of vaccine antibodies correlated most significantly with having an up-to-date immunization history (P<0.05). An up-to-date immunization history was not related to age, immunologic stage, or viremia but to the referral medical center.
Conclusions: All pediatricians in charge of HIV-infected children are urged to identify missing immunizations in this high-risk population.