COVID-19 and it’s variants remain a serious threat to Arizonans. People Living with HIV are encouraged to receive the vaccine to help:
- Reduce the spread of COVID-19
- Protect against severe disease and death
Vaccines along with other prevention measures can help end the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q1: Is the vaccine harmful to anyone currently on HIV medications?
A1: All three FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines have no interactions with HIV medications.
A2: It is not recommended that people with HIV stop their HIV medicines when they receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Stopping your HIV medications could put you at greater risk for HIV-related illnesses and at greater risk for serious infection due to COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone regardless of country of origin.
Q2: For people living with HIV with a CD4<200/low immune system, is the COVID-19 vaccine effective and does HIV status need to be shared
A1: People with HIV should receive the COVID-19 vaccine regardless
of CD4 count or viral load. The
CDC advises that people who are immunocompromised, including people with HIV, receive the COVID-19 vaccine because of their potential increased risk for serious illness due to COVID-19.
A2: People living with HIV were included in the studies to create and evaluate the COVID-19 vaccine.
A3: People with HIV may be asked
a number of screening questions depending on vaccination site. If they do not want to share HIV status, they could share they are immunocompromised.
Q3: Is insurance or copayment needed to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
A1: There is no charge for the COVID-19 vaccine and you do not need insurance to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The federal government is covering the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone.
A2: If you do have insurance, there may be a fee for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, but that fee should be charged to your health insurance provider, including Medicaid or Medicare.
A3: If you normally do have a copayment for an office visit with your provider, you might be required to pay that office visit copayment.
Keep regular HIV-care appointment and follow up with your provider about any COVID-19 questions.
Q4: Why is there a vaccine for COVID-19 in less than a year, but still no vaccine for HIV?
A1: The virus that causes COVID-19 is very different from HIV. The body rids itself of the virus that causes COVID-19 within weeks while HIV stays in the body and affects the immune system. These differences, and many others, make creating an HIV vaccine much more complicated.
A2: Work on developing an HIV vaccine continues and some of the early work in developing an HIV vaccine helped to create the authorized COVID-19 vaccines.
A3: Information from creating the COVID-19 vaccines might be helpful for other vaccines, including for HIV.
Information on where to get a COVID-19 vaccine:
Need to make an appointment for HIV-Care?
Contact Ryan White Part B Program!
Call: (602) 360-3610