Are People with HIV at Risk for Severe COVID-19 Complications?
All people living with HIV (PLWH) are recommended to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The authorized vaccines are safe for people living with HIV regardless of CD4 count.
A report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) finds that people living with HIV who are admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 are significantly more likely to face severe or fatal COVID-19 than people who are HIV-negative. Even after adjusting for disease severity and other conditions, HIV increased the likelihood of dying from COVID-19 after a hospital admission by 30%. The report reveals that 23% of people living with HIV who were hospitalized with COVID-19, died.
“This study reinforces our recommendation that people living with HIV–and everyone who is eligible–receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Janessa Broussard, RN, MSN, AGNP-C, vice president of medical affairs. “The bottom line is that people who are vaccinated from COVID-19 are protected. In the case of breakthrough infection, symptoms are likely to be mild. And, we know that the vaccines are safe and effective for people living with HIV.”
The WHO study is important because it adds weight to the recommendation that people living with HIV around the world be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines.
A US study of 8,270 PLWH with COVID-19 found that unvaccinated PLWH in the US who went to the ED with COVID symptoms had an increased risk of hospitalization requiring ventilation by 43% and increased risk of death by 20%, independent of sociodemographic factors and comorbidities. Outcomes were 4-7x worse for people with CD4 <350 and with higher viral loads.
Read more here: https://www.sfaf.org/collections/breaking-news/new-who-report-shows-increased-risk-of-severe-covid-19-for-people-with-hiv-heres-what-it-means/