Mpox and People with HIV

Content From: HIV.govUpdated: December 16, 20227 min read

Topics

Federal Call to Action: Mpox

People with HIV are over-represented in cases and severe manifestations of mpox (formerly known as monkeypox*). Federal HIV leaders recently released a Call to Action for the HIV community.


Watch and Learn

Demetre Daskalakis, MD, MPH, National Mpox Response Deputy Coordinator, answers 14 top mpox questions. Please download and share these videos on your social media channels.

Please download and share these videos on your social media channels. WatchExit Disclaimer a message from Admiral Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health, about mpox.

Fast Facts: What You Need to Know

  • The 2022 global outbreak of mpox has spread to locations that don’t normally experience mpox disease, including the United States.
  • Current data suggest that about 40% of people diagnosed with mpox in the United States also have HIV.
  • The mpox virus spreads mostly through close or intimate contact with someone who has mpox.
  • CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to mpox and people who may be more likely to be exposed to mpox in the future. Two doses are recommended for the highest level of protection. (CDC offers the most current information about who should get vaccinated and where to get vaccinated.)
  • You can also take steps to protect yourself and others from mpox and lower your risk during sex by reducing or avoiding behaviors that increase your risk of mpox exposure.
  • If you have any symptoms of mpox, talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has mpox.
  • CDC urges healthcare providers in the United States to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with mpox.

Mpox Vaccine LocatorExit Disclaimer

Use this locator to find nearby healthcare locations providing mpox vaccines.

Mpox and People with HIV

Are people with HIV more likely to get mpox?

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

Is the mpox vaccine recommended and safe for 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 JYNNEOS 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.

What else can people with HIV do to protect themselves from mpox?

If you have HIV, you should follow the same recommendations as everyone else to protect yourself from mpox. These are: avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox; avoid contact with objects and materials that person with mpox has used; wash your hands often; and get vaccinated.

Also, taking your HIV medication as prescribed and keeping an undetectable viral load are the best things you can do to stay healthy. Doing so also prevents you from sexually transmitting HIV to your HIV-negative partner. Learn more about how to live well with HIV.

Is mpox treatment safe for people with 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.

Also, it’s important to be aware 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.

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.

Also note: HIV PrEP and PEP and mpox PrEP and PEP are NOT the same. When you get the mpox vaccine to reduce your chance of getting mpox in the future, this is sometimes called mpox vaccine PrEP. 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. Mopox PrEP and PEP do not prevent HIV.

Federal Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

  • HRSA HAB Monkeypox Information—From HRSA’s HIV/AIDS Bureau, this page offers links to current mpox resources specifically for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program recipients, subrecipients, and stakeholders.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Note

*On November 28, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced its support for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) renamingExit Disclaimer of monkeypox disease to mpox. The WHO is the international body responsible for naming diseases. Learn more.