Infectious Disease

HIV has been independently linked to more severe COVID-19, the WHO finds

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Bertagnolio S. et al. Abstract 2498. Presented at: International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science; 18.-21. July 2021 (virtual meeting).

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Bertagnolio does not report any relevant financial information. Please refer to the study for all relevant financial information from the other authors.

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According to a WHO analysis of more than 15,000 people living with HIV worldwide, HIV is independently associated with a higher risk of severe or critical COVID-19.

It wasn’t the first time researchers uncover a link between HIV and a more serious COVID-19 disease – small studies in New York, South Africa and the UK have also made the link – but other studies have found no difference in results between patients with . detected or without HIV.

Bertagnolio Pullquote

The WHO analysis was more comprehensive and included data from dozen of countries collected over more than a year. Based on the findings released the Thursday prior to the International AIDS Society (IAS) conference on HIV science, the IAS recommended that countries include people living with HIV on the list of priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination have – something the NIHNI has recommended since March.

“The global community also needs to do much more to get COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world with high prevalence of HIV and other diseases.” Adeeba Kamarulzaman, MBBS, FRACP, FASc, said in a statement. “It is unacceptable that to date less than 3% of the entire African continent has received a single dose of the vaccine and less than 1.5% received both doses.”

The WHO analysis also found that common underlying conditions – such as diabetes and high blood pressure – contribute to a higher risk of death from COVID-19 in people with HIV. Access to ART said Silvia Bertagnolio, MD, an HIV researcher at WHO.

“It is critically important to ensure that those starting ART can stick with it to reduce health risks and complications during COVID-19,” Bertagnolio said said Healio. “In addition to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of comorbidities and co-infections, this is to be classified as an essential service. HIV services should be adjusted to make this easier and more efficient during the COVID-19 response. Monitoring of all people living with HIV and SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially those with advanced HIV disease or with comorbidities, is also essential. “

Bertagnolio and colleagues reviewed data from 168,649 hospitalized patients in 24 countries, including 15,522 with HIV. They analyzed the data collected between January 2020 and April 2021 on demographics, clinical characteristics, HIV status, comorbidities, medications and patient outcomes.

Among the patients with HIV, the mean age was 45.5 years and 36.2% suffered a severe or critical illness on admission, with the most common underlying diseases being high blood pressure (33.2%), diabetes (22.7%) and obesity (16 , 9%).

The researchers found that HIV was associated with a higher risk of severe or critical presentation (adjusted OR = 1.13) when adjusted for gender, age, and comorbidity levels, and with a higher risk of hospital mortality (aHR = 1, 3) after adjustment to gender, age, severity of the disease and exposure to comorbidities.

For people with HIV, age over 65 years (aHR = 1.82), male (aHR = 1.21), and diabetes (aHR = 1.5) or high blood pressure (aHR = 1.26) increased the risk of death in the hospital.

Based on the results, WHO plans to include HIV infection as a risk factor in its clinical guidelines for COVID-19, Bertagnolio said.

“This is a living analysis and will be updated regularly as we continue to get more data from the countries,” said Bertagnolio. “WHO will continue to expand the collection and analysis of clinical data from hospitalized patients with HIV through the WHO global clinical platform for COVID-19 and encourage countries and stakeholders to contribute anonymized data to improve the generalization of these findings and provide guidance.”

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IAS Conference on HIV Science

IAS Conference on HIV Science

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