Monkeypox and HIV
Frequently asked questions about Monkeypox and HIV
- Are people with HIV more likely to get monkeypox?
CDC doesn’t know if having HIV increases the likelihood of getting monkeypox. Monkeypox can spread to anyone through prolonged, close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, as well as through contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox, or contact with respiratory secretions, through kissing and other face-to-face contact.
- Are people with HIV more likely to have more severe illness if they get monkeypox?
CDC continues to monitor monkeypox among people with HIV. During the current monkeypox outbreak, there does not appear to be more severe monkeypox illness in people who have HIV and are virally suppressed (having less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood). In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) monkeypox guidance states, “People living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy with suppressed viral load are not considered to be immunosuppressed.” However, people with HIV who are not virally suppressed may be at increased risk for severe illness and death from monkeypox.
- What treatment is recommended for people with HIV who get monkeypox?
Currently there is no treatment approved specifically for monkeypox. However, medicine (antivirals) developed for use in patients with smallpox may help treat people with monkeypox.
- Is a vaccine recommended and are safe for people with HIV?
At this time, vaccination is recommended for people with exposures to a probable or confirmed case with monkeypox, for example people who have had close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox. Vaccination may also be offered to people who had a presumed exposure, such as men who have sex with men who have had multiple sexual partners during the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox activity.
- Will monkeypox treatment of vaccines interact with HIV medications?
Data is limited, but most HIV treatment can be safely given with monkeypox treatment and smallpox vaccines. People with HIV should inform their healthcare provider of all their medications to help determine if any interactions exist.
- What can people with HIV do to protect themselves from monkeypox?
People with HIV should follow the same recommendations as everyone else to protect themselves from monkeypox.