Positive Life NSW has become aware there are some misleading assumptions, particularly by the media but also by other sources, that all people living with HIV are immunocompromised (defined as CD4 count below 200 cells/mL).
Due to HIV antiretroviral treatment, the majority of people living with HIV are not immunocompromised, unless we’re taking immunosuppressive therapy (e.g. for a kidney, lung or liver transplant) or other cancer treatments, not taking HIV antiretroviral medication or have a CD4 count below 200 cells/mL
Like anyone else living in the community, people living with HIV face no barriers to getting a COVID-19 vaccination as they wish. We offer this information to our community and the media, to combat this misinformation, and also allay the concerns of anyone living with HIV for whom this may cause some anxiety.
There is medical consensus from a range of national and international professional societies that people who are immunocompromised receive a COVID-19 vaccine as a matter of priority given their risk of experiencing a more severe illness from COVID-19 should they contract the coronavirus. The Australian Government strongly recommends anyone who is immunocompromised receive the COVID-19 vaccination. People living with HIV with a low CD4 count (below 200 cells/mL) should seek medical advice about the priority of getting vaccinated.
Positive Life is committed to supporting all people living with HIV in NSW through the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with relevant and evidence-based information. We are committed to supporting our entire community to understand your concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines including any barriers you might experience in accessing a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you need any further information about your eligibility for a COVD-19 vaccine, or have any further questions about the COVID-19 vaccine itself, please speak with your GP or HIV specialist. If you are living with HIV in NSW, you can also call Positive Life NSW on (02) 9206 2177, 1800 245 677 (freecall outside metro) or email email@example.com