COVID More lethal for people living with HIV


By Cara Murez
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Like certain health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and diabetes high blood pressure, new research shows that having HIV or AIDS increases a person’s risk of getting and dying from COVID-19.

For the study, researchers at Penn State College of Medicine evaluated data from 22 previous studies of 21 million participants in North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Researchers found that people living with HIV had a 24% higher risk of infection SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and a 78% higher risk of death from COVID than people without HIV.

“Previous studies were not conclusive on whether or not HIV is a risk factor for susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and poor outcomes in populations with COVID-19,” said lead researcher Dr. Paddy Ssentongo, adjunct professor in Neural Engineering.

“This is because the vast majority of people living with HIV / AIDS are active ART [antiretroviral therapy], some of which have been used experimentally to treat COVID-19, “he said in a Penn State press release.


According to the World Health Organization, about 38 million people worldwide live with HIV or AIDS. Some pre-existing conditions are common among people living with HIV / AIDS, which may contribute to the severity of their COVID-19 cases.

Among HIV-positive people, the most common pre-existing health conditions were high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic kidney disease.

About 66% of the study participants were men, with a mean age of 56 years. Most people with HIV / AIDS (96%) were on antiretroviral therapy, which helps suppress the amount of HIV detected in the body.

The beneficial effects of antiviral drugs (such as protease inhibitors) in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 death in people living with HIV / AIDS remain inconclusive, they noted. the study authors.

Researcher Vernon Chinchilli, chair of Penn State’s public health sciences department, said: “As pandemic has evolved, we have obtained enough information to characterize the epidemiology of HIV / SARS-CoV-2 co-infection, which could not be done at the beginning of the pandemic due to the scarcity of data. Our findings support the current Guide to Disease Control and Prevention Centers to prioritize people living with HIV in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. “


The findings were recently published in the journal Scientific reports.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has done just that more information on COVID-19.

SOURCE: Penn State Health, press release, May 11, 2021

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