Mpox and HIV
People with HIV are over-represented in current mpox cases. We do not know if having HIV increases the likelihood of getting infected with mpox virus if exposed, however, we do know that people with advanced HIV (immunocompromised) are at increased risk of severe mpox and death if they get the mpox virus. Learn more about how mpox spreads.
If you have HIV, you should follow the same recommendations as everyone else to protect yourself from mpox, including getting vaccinated. Taking your HIV medication as prescribed and keeping an undetectable viral load are the best things you can do to stay healthy and doing so also prevents you from sexually transmitting HIV to your HIV-negative partner. Learn more about how to live well with HIV.
CDC recommends that anyone with HIV get vaccinated against mpox. JYNNEOS is a two-dose vaccine, authorized for the prevention of mpox and is considered safe and effective for people with HIV. This is the vaccine currently being offered in the United States. In addition to people with HIV:
- The vaccine is recommended for anyone who may be more likely to get mpox.
- It is also recommended if you have not been vaccinated and had a known or suspected exposure to someone with mpox or if you had a sex partner in the past 2 weeks who was diagnosed with mpox. This could keep you from getting sick with mpox or reduce the severity of your illness if you do get sick.
Learn more about who should get vaccinated and talk to your health care provider about getting vaccinated against mpox.
You may have heard of mpox vaccine PEP. This can be confusing because we use the term HIV PEP in HIV prevention as well. Here’s a simple explanation of what they mean:
- HIV PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is medicine that can reduce your chances of getting HIV after a possible exposure to the virus.
- Similarly, mpox vaccine PEP is when you get the mpox vaccine to reduce your chances of getting mpox after a possible exposure to the mpox virus.
- Limited data suggest that people with HIV, particularly people with low CD4 counts (<350 cells/ml) or who are not virally suppressed, are more likely to be hospitalized and possibly die if they get mpox than people without HIV.
- Mpox treatments are safe and may be used to treat people who are more likely to get severely ill with mpox. If you have HIV, ask your healthcare provider about what treatment options you should consider.
- Based on what we know, mpox treatments have very few possible interactions with HIV medicines. If you have HIV, let your health care provider know before starting mpox treatment.
- HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)and HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) are still effective for preventing HIV even if you have mpox or are taking mpox treatment. If you have been prescribed HIV PrEP or HIV PEP by your health care provider, you should continue taking your medicine as prescribed.
Learn more about mpox treatment.