Purpose of review: The 2009 pandemic HIN1 influenza strain (H1N12009) produced more severe disease and increased risk for mortality. As an at-risk population for more severe influenza illness, particular concern regarding HIV patients triggered a focused effort to evaluate disease burden and vaccine efficacy in these populations.
Recent findings: As with other immune-compromised individuals, most HIV-infected individuals recovered without major consequence. Although HIV infection was assumed to be a risk factor for more severe disease and death, the published literature does not indicate this to be so. Neuraminadase inhibitors were well tolerated by this population and there was no evidence of clinically significant pharmacokinetic interactions with antiretroviral therapy. Immunogenicity was increased with H1N12009 vaccine compared to the historical results of nonpandemic vaccines and optimized by the use of adjuvants. Booster dosing was also of benefit. H1N12009 vaccine was generally well tolerated without evidence of detrimental effect on HIV status.
Summary: The worse case scenario was not realized for H1N12009 in the general population or in those with HIV. Immunization with adjuvant represents a key measure to protect this population from H1N12009 and other future novel influenza strains.