Monday, February 12, 2018

Shingles Vaccine Video, New Name for C. diff, Flu B Rising, and More — A Pre-Valentines Day ID Link-o-Rama

HIV and ID Observations

An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases, all matters medical, and some not so medical.

Paul E. Sax, MD

The ACIP issued its official recommendations for herpes zoster (shingles) immunization.
Preferred: the new recombinant zoster vaccine, abbreviated RZV, for people 50 and older. They do not recommend it (yet) for immunocompromised individuals — stay tuned. Does the recommendation include our stable, on-therapy HIV patients, who in increasing numbers are over 50? I say yes.

In this terrible flu season, should we be choosing one type of flu vaccine over another?
In the absence of head-to-head trials, it’s difficult to make an official endorsement. But as this interesting piece notes, there are differences between the available vaccines, differences that may lead to different rates of protection. Credit to Helen Branswell, a local journalist who has done superb reporting on the flu this year.

FDA approves bictegravir/FTC/TAF for initial and switch HIV therapy.
Now come two inevitable questions: 1) When will my patient’s insurance/ADAP/etc. cover it? 2) Who came up with that brand name? Biktarvy, jeepers.

Elsulfavirine, an investigational NNRTI, is also approved for HIV therapy.
OK, ok, so it’s approved in Russia, not here. Here’s a clinical trial comparing it to efavirenz from last year’s CROI.

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