HIV infection increased the risk of severe COVID-19 and death » Medvestnik

People living with HIV are more likely to get severe COVID-19 and die. Additional risk factors include age over 45 years and concomitant diseases. The risk was reduced in people who received antiretroviral therapy.

HIV infection is an independent risk factor for severe illness and death from COVID-19, a study from the Department of Global Programs on HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Diseases and the Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research of the World Health Organization (WHO) has found. The results were published in The Lancet HIV.

Severe or extremely severe conditions during hospitalization were 15% more common among HIV-infected patients compared with patients without HIV (risk ratio (RR) was 1.15). The analysis was carried out taking into account gender, age and concomitant diseases.

Additional risk factors for severe COVID-19 included age over 45 years, chronic cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

Mortality from COVID-19 among HIV-infected patients is 38% higher than among people without HIV (RR = 1.38). The risk increased in men, in severe condition at hospitalization, in the presence of tuberculosis, diabetes, malignancy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic kidney disease.

Antiretroviral therapy reduced the risk of death from COVID-19 by 17%, and the risk of severe coronavirus infection by 40%, compared with no treatment. The risk of death was 15% lower with a viral load of less than 1000 copies/ml. The likelihood of severe disease is 45% lower.

Scientists analyzed data from 197 thousand patients from 38 countries who were hospitalized with suspected COVID-19 from January 2020 to July 2021. Among them, 16,955 people living with HIV were identified. The average age of the participants was 45.5 years. 9,302 people received treatment for HIV infection. The researchers assessed the impact of HIV status on the severity of coronavirus infection and mortality during hospitalization.

COVID-19 was clinically confirmed in 184 thousand participants, including 16,398 HIV-infected patients. Severe disease was diagnosed in 6162 participants (38.4%) living with HIV, of which 3913 (24.3%) patients died in hospital.

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