Preventing the Flu and Its Complications

Content From: Ronald Valdiserri, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, Infectious Diseases, and Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: December 03, 20122 min read


Have you gotten your flu vaccine graphic

As daylight hours get shorter and temperatures are falling, we’re not only approaching winter but also flu season. While we can all find ways to enjoy the change of seasons, no one enjoys the flu -- a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses spread between people. Seasonal flu is a special concern if you are a person living with HIV (PLWH) since HIV can make your body too weak to fight off the flu. HIV also increases your risk for serious flu-related complications. Experts agree that getting the flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the flu.

flu shot

CDC has designated this week as National Influenza Vaccination Awareness Week, so we encourage you to learn more about the seasonal flu and take steps to protect yourself. Here are some resources to help you:

Remember, it is not too late to get your yearly flu vaccine to protect against the flu viruses experts predict will spread this season. As long as flu viruses are spreading and causing illness, vaccination can provide protection against the flu.