A study published this week in the journal BMC Immunology suggests that being vaccinated for smallpox triggered by the smallpox vaccine may inhibit the growth of the HIV. The researchers extracted white blood cells from subjects and exposed them to HIV in a culture dish. The results showed that HIV replication was slowed by about 80 percent in the cells from those who had received smallpox vaccination. The full article is posted at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2172-11-23.pdf. Before drawing conclusions, consider that this in an in-vitro study cell culture study and the sample size is only 20, but it may suggest that further research is warranted to find out whether there is some kind of cross protection that the smallpox vaccine provides.
About the Director
Cara M. Christ, M.D., M.S. became Director for the Arizona Department of Health Services in May 2015. Dr. Christ has served the agency for more than nine years. Among her many accomplishments at ADHS, Dr. Christ collaborated with health partners and stakeholders to develop strategic plans for infectious disease prevention and control including the Governor’s Council on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. She was involved in leading statewide efforts during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, and worked with partners to find solutions to improve childhood vaccination programs. In 2012, Dr. Christ managed the development and implementation of 20 Articles of Arizona Administrative Code for Health Care Institutions allowing integration of physical and behavioral health services statewide. Dr. Christ obtained her master's degree in microbiology with an emphasis in molecular virology and public health. She earned her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Follow the Director on Twitter @DrCaraChrist.