Immunising the HIV-infected child: A view from sub-Saharan Africa

M. Jeffrey Mphahlele*, Siyazi Mda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The HIV-infected children are prone to multitude of infections. In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV/AIDS is certainly an important acquired immunodeficiency and is more likely to negatively impact on immunisation programmes than other forms of immunodeficiencies. Although HIV infection is generally not a contra-indication for immunisation, high background HIV prevalence in the region may result in lower rates of vaccine immunogenicity, efficacy and population immunity. Nevertheless, vaccination is still better than natural infection; the risk of vaccination far outweighs the risk of infection with the pathogen. The primary focus of this review is to discuss the lessons learned in vaccinating HIV-infected children particularly with key live-attenuated vaccines in Africa such as Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), measles, oral polio vaccine (OPV), yellow fever and rotavirus. Immunisation against influenza virus, a common cause of respiratory illness, is also discussed as multiple guidelines recommend influenza vaccination for number of groups at high risk such as patients infected with HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)C61-C65
Issue numberSUPPL.3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2012


  • BCG
  • Childhood vaccines
  • HIV
  • Immunisation
  • Immunocompromised
  • Live-attenuated vaccines


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