There are more than 3.2 million children living with HIV, many of whom may be susceptible to getting measles despite being vaccinated against it. A recent study done by the Kenya Research & Training Center at the University of Washington, in collaboration with the University of Nairobi, showed that HIV-infected children may benefit from an additional measles vaccination after successful treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART). Over half of HIV-infected children on ART in the Nairobi-based study did not have detectable measles antibodies, which can help protect a child from developing measles, despite receiving one dose of measles vaccine in the past. The children were given an additional measles vaccine and followed for two years to determine if measles revaccination increased the number of children who could develop and maintain measles antibodies.
The study found that nearly 40% of HIV-infected children who were successfully treated with ART responded well to the revaccination and maintained measles antibodies for the duration of the study. These results can inform guidelines on measles vaccination in HIV-infected children on ART. Implementation of measles revaccination in Kenya could potentially protect an additional 5,000 HIV-infected children from measles infection.