Study Objective: To analyze the relation between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and the antibody response to plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine.
Design: Open-label longitudinal cohort study; blinded laboratory studies.
Setting: University-affiliated municipal hospital.
Patients: Homosexually active men with negative assays for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B core antigen, and antibody to HBsAg; recruited in a sexually transmitted disease clinic or referred from community practitioners.
Interventions: Immunization with 20 µg of plasma-derived hepatitis B virus vaccine intramuscularly, repeated after 1 and 6 months; standardized evaluation at entry and at 1, 2, 6, and 7 months.
Measurements and Main Results: Low antibody response or nonresponse to vaccination occurred in 7 of 16 HIV-seropositive patients, compared with 6 of 68 HIV-seronegative patients (P = 0.002). Median levels of antibody to HBsAg 7 months after the first vaccine dose were 205.3 sample ratio units for HIV-seronegative patients and 15.5 sample ratio units for HIV-seropositive patients. By multivariate analysis, vaccine response was associated with HIV antibody status and not with cytomegalovirus infection, lymphocyte subset results, or impaired cutaneous delayed hypersensitivity.
Conclusions: Infection with HIV is associated with suboptimal antibody response to plasma-derived hepatitis B virus vaccine. Determination of antibody levels after vaccination in HIV-seropositive patients may be warranted.