Infectious Disease

In a UK research, folks with HIV have been at elevated threat of dying from COVID-19

December 22, 2020

2 min read

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Disclosure:
Bhaskaran has a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship jointly funded by Wellcome and the Royal Society. In the study you will find all relevant financial information from all other authors.

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A study of more than 17 million people in England found that people living with HIV were at higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than people without HIV. This is evident from the results published in The Lancet HIV.

Researchers reported that black people with HIV were even more at risk.

Microscopic HIV

According to a UK study, people with HIV are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as people without HIV.

“HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, so there has been concern that people living with HIV may be at greater risk for severe COVID-19 than the general population.” Krishnan Bhaskaran, PhD, Professor of Statistical Epidemiology and Sir Henry Dale Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Healio said. “We wanted to investigate this by comparing the risk of dying from COVID-19 between people with and without HIV.”

Bhaskaran and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study using the OpenSAFELY platform to analyze routinely collected electronic primary care data linked to national death registrations. According to the study, all adults aged 18 years or older who were alive and undergoing follow-up on February 1 and who had been continuously enrolled with a GP for at least 1 year prior to that date were enrolled in the study.

Researchers compared primary care patients for HIV infection with those without HIV and used Cox regression models to estimate the association between HIV infection and COVID-19 death.

A total of 17,282,905 adults were enrolled in the study, including 27,480 with HIV. A total of 14,882 COVID-19 deaths occurred during the study period, 25 of them in people with HIV.

According to the researchers, after adjusting for age and gender, people with HIV were at higher risk of death from COVID-19 than people without HIV (HR = 2.90; 95% CI, 1.96-4.30). They found that after adjusting for withdrawal, ethnicity, smoking, and obesity, the association decreased (aHR = 2.59; 95% CI, 1.74–3.84), although the risk remained high.

In addition, the study showed some evidence that the association was greater in blacks with HIV (HR = 4.31; 95% CI, 2.42–7.65 in blacks with HIV versus HR = 1.84; 95% CI , 1.03-3.26 in non-black people with HIV).

“The overall rate of COVID-19 deaths in people with HIV was still quite low. This is because age is the most important risk factor and relatively few older people live with HIV. In our study, less than 5% of those infected with HIV were over 70 years old, ”said Bhaskaran. “However, our results suggest that HIV status may need to be considered when deciding on priority groups for vaccination. It will also be important to do more research to understand why HIV appears to be disproportionate to risk in black people so that this can be incorporated into risk reduction strategies. “

The results were consistent with the results of a South African study that showed that HIV and tuberculosis were linked to increased COVID-19 mortality. However, other studies in the US and elsewhere have found no link between HIV and poorer outcomes from COVID-19.

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