Influenza susceptibility, severity, and shedding in HIV-infected adults: a review of the literature

Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Jan 15;52(2):219-27. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciq110.


Influenza is a common cause of respiratory illness in adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but current knowledge about seasonal and 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza A (H1N1pdm) virus infections in HIV-infected persons is limited. In this paper, we review the existing literature regarding influenza susceptibility, severity, and shedding in HIV-infected adults. Data show HIV infection does not significantly increase susceptibility to influenza. AIDS is associated with greater seasonal influenza-related morbidity and mortality, but the risk associated with HIV infection among those with less immune suppression is largely unknown. Immunologic compromise has been shown to increase the magnitude and duration of influenza virus shedding; however, these studies are limited within HIV-infected populations. With regards to H1N1pdm, data are even more limited. Reports raise concern of increased severity among HIV-infected persons, although this may be driven by other comorbid illnesses. Prospective studies are needed among HIV-infected persons to more definitively investigate influenza susceptibility, severity, and shedding.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / mortality
  • Influenza, Human / pathology
  • Influenza, Human / virology*
  • Orthomyxoviridae / immunology*
  • Orthomyxoviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Virus Shedding