Mpox and HIV

Current data suggest that about 40% of people diagnosed with mpox in the United States also had HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). CDC doesn’t know if having HIV increases the likelihood of getting sick with mpox if exposed to the virus. However, we do know that people with severe immunocompromise (like advanced HIV) are at increased risk of severe mpox, or even death, if they become infected. Learn more about how mpox spreads.

If you have HIV, you should follow the same recommendations as everyone else to protect yourself from mpox. 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.

Mpox Vaccines and People with HIV

CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to mpox virus and people who may be more likely to get mpox. Learn more about who should get vaccinated.

There are currently two vaccines (JYNNEOS and ACAM2000) that can be used to prevent mpox.

  • JYNNEOS vaccine is authorized for the prevention of mpox and is considered safe for people with HIV. This is the vaccine currently being offered in the United States.
  • CDC does not recommend the ACAM2000 vaccine for people with HIV due to the increased risk of serious side effects.

Talk to your health care provider to see if you should get vaccinated against mpox.

Getting Mpox When You Have HIV

  • 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 if they get mpox than people without HIV.
  • Medicines used to treat smallpox are considered 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 few interactions with HIV medicines. If you have HIV, let your health care provider know before starting mpox treatment.

Learn more about mpox treatment.

Mpox and HIV PrEP and HIV PEP

HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) are still effective for preventing HIV even if you have received the mpox vaccine, 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.

You may have heard of mpox PrEP and PEP. This can be confusing because we use the terms PrEP and PEP in HIV prevention as well. Here’s how they are different:

  • HIV PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is medicine that reduces your chances of getting HIV.
  • When you get the mpox vaccine to reduce your chances of getting mpox in the future, this is sometimes called mpox vaccine PrEP.
  • HIV PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is medicine that can reduce your chances of getting HIV after a possible exposure.
  • When you get the mpox vaccine to reduce your chance of getting mpox because you were exposed or think you might have been exposed, this is sometimes called mpox vaccine PEP.