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Feature/News

Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and Persons with HIV

This article originally appeared on aidsinfo.nih.gov. To see the full article, click here.

This interim guidance reviews special considerations for persons with HIV and their health care providers in the United States regarding COVID-19. Information and data on COVID-19 are rapidly evolving. This guidance includes general information to consider. Clinicians should refer to updated sources for more specific recommendations regarding COVID-19.

Guidance for all Persons with HIV

  • In current reports, individuals aged >60 years and those with diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or pulmonary disease are at highest risk of life-threatening COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus known as SARS-CoV-2.
  • The limited data currently available do not indicate that the disease course of COVID-19 in persons with HIV differs from that in persons without HIV. Before the advent of effective combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), advanced HIV infection (i.e., CD4 cell count <200/mm3) was a risk factor for complications of other respiratory infections. Whether this is also true for COVID-19 is yet unknown.
  • Some people with HIV have other comorbidities (e.g., cardiovascular disease or lung disease) that increase the risk for a more severe course of COVID-19 illness. Chronic smokers are also at risk of more severe disease.
  • Thus, until more is known, additional caution for all persons with HIV, especially those with advanced HIV or poorly controlled HIV, is warranted.
  • Every effort should be made to help persons with HIV maintain an adequate supply of ART and all other concomitant medications.
  • Influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations should be kept up to date.
  • Persons with HIV should follow all applicable recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent COVID-19, such as social distancing and proper hand hygiene. These recommendations are regularly updated.
  • Information on COVID-19 prevention in children with HIV for pediatric health care providers and the general public is available from CDC.
  • CDC also provides information about COVID-19 prevention during pregnancy.

See additional guidance and recommendations here.

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