COVID-19 misinformation runs wild on social media. Some people have been spreading a myth that COVID-19 boosters cause HIV.
“For those of you that have taken the third dose, go and take a test for AIDS. The results may surprise you. Then sue your government.”
There’s no evidence that Dr. Montagnier has ever said this. There’s also no possible scientific mechanism where a COVID-19 vaccine could cause HIV unless a syringe had previously been used on a person with HIV. All syringes used by medical professionals for COVID-19 vaccination in the United States are single-use.
Keep reading to learn more about why COVID-19 vaccines don’t cause HIV and why it’s important for people with HIV to be fully vaccinated.
Almost 600 million vaccine doses, including 106.3 million first booster doses, have been administered in the United States. Researchers have found
Furthermore, outside of syringe contamination, there’s no scientific mechanism where COVID-19 vaccines could cause HIV. A viral infection causes HIV. The only way to get HIV is to be exposed to the virus.
Unprotected anal or vaginal sex and sharing drug injection equipment are the
Sputnik V and Convidecia
Neither the Sputnik V nor Convidecia vaccines are approved for use in the United States. But the Convidecia vaccine has been granted emergency use by the
These viruses are viral vector vaccines. That means researchers hide instructions for your immune system on how to defend against COVID-19 inside the shell of a virus that doesn’t cause disease in humans. These two vaccines use a viral vector called adenovirus vectors of human serotype 5 (HAdV-5).
Later HIV vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine trials did not find an increased risk of HIV infection following the use of HAdV vector vaccines. At present,
Researchers are continuing to examine how people with HIV respond to vaccines.
COVID-19 vaccines are highly recommended for everybody, including people with HIV, regardless of CD4 count. Most people only have mild or no side effects after vaccination.
Three types of vaccines are approved for use in the United States:
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are called
The most common side effects of these vaccines are mild symptoms such as:
- pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site
- muscle pain
Although rare, there have been reports of potentially serious side effects such as myocarditis and pericarditis after mRNA vaccination. Myocarditis is inflammation of your heart muscle. Pericarditis is inflammation of the lining of your heart.
Myocarditis and pericarditis
- within a week of vaccination
- more often after the second dose
- in male adolescents or young adults
Heart conditions are rare after vaccination, and
Johnson & Johnson Janssen
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a vector vaccine, meaning that it contains a modified virus. This modified virus contains the genetic information of the virus that causes COVID-19 inside the shell of an adenovirus.
The most common side effects of this vaccine are mild and similar to those of mRNA vaccines. There is a plausible relationship between this vaccine and a serious type of blood clot called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). It occurs at a rate of
Due to safety concerns regarding TTS, on May 5, 2022, the FDA
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everybody over the age of 5, including people with HIV, get a booster dose if they’re eligible.
They also recommend that adults over the age of 50 and some people over 12 who are moderately to severely immunosuppressed get a second booster at least 4 months after their first booster. This category includes people with advanced or untreated HIV.
Nearly half of people diagnosed with HIV are over the age of 50, and people with HIV also have higher rates of underlying health conditions that may weaken their immune systems. It’s particularly important for people vulnerable to infection to be vaccinated.
There’s no possible mechanism where a COVID-19 vaccine could cause HIV. Researchers also have not found any evidence that COVID-19 vaccines increase your susceptibility to contracting HIV.
People with HIV or other conditions that weaken their immune system are at an elevated risk of developing COVID-19 or severe illness. If you or your loved one has HIV, receiving your recommended COVID-19 vaccines is particularly important.