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16 February 2021, 16:13

People living with HIV have worse COVID-19 outcomes than their negative counterparts

People living with HIV have worse COVID-19 outcomes than their negative counterparts - picture 1

According to a cohort study amongst New Yorkers, published in the JAMA Network Open on February 3rd 2021, people living with HIV have worse COVID-19 outcomes than people without HIV.

Dr Eli Rosenberg, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at The University of Albany, told Healio that the development of serious complications requiring hospitalisation as well as an increased risk of death were more common amongst people living with HIV.

Rosenberg and colleagues evaluated treatment outcomes for 2,988 people with HIV who were diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 1st and June 15th 2020. The average age of the patients was 54 years.

People living with HIV were hospitalised more often than people without HIV (sRR 1.38, 95% CI (1.29–1.47)). In addition, mortality was higher amongst people living with HIV (sRR 1.23, 95% CI (1.07-1.4)), but not amongst hospitalised patients (sRR 0.96, 95% CI, (0.83-1.09)).

Previous studies have disagreed on the risks of COVID-19 to people living with HIV. Another study from New York found no difference in the incidence and outcomes of people living with HIV. Two studies, in the UK and South Africa, suggested that people living with HIV could be at an increased risk of death from COVID-19.

Speaking on his findings Rosenberg said that he thought people with HIV should be considered a higher priority for COVID-19 vaccination.

“There is a higher risk of death, the only question is to find an explanation for this. We need deeper research, and that research is harder and more time consuming” he said.

Author: Tom Hayes

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