British HIV Association issues statement on COVID-19

Organisation: Position: Deadline Date: Location:

Last week the British HIV Association (BHIVA), which represents medical professionals working in HIV in the UK, issued a statement about the new coronavirus in people with HIV: “There is no evidence so far to determine whether people with HIV are at greater risk of COVID-19 acquisition or severe disease. The main mortality risk factors to date older age and co-morbidities including renal disease and diabetes. Some groups with relative immune suppression, such as the very young and pregnant women, do not appear to be at higher risk of complications, although numbers are very small. Public Health England advise that clinicians should be alert to the possibility of atypical presentations in patients who are immuno-compromised.

According to an Aidsmap report, BHIVA recommend:
Following the regularly updated advice from Public Health England, Health Protection Scotland, Public Heath Wales, the Department of Health Northern Ireland and the Health Service Executive Ireland and ensuring people with HIV have received influenza and pneumococcal vaccination in line with BHIVA vaccine guidelines.”

Key elements of advice in order to limit the spread of a number of viral infections (including coronavirus) are to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene, such as washing your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, particularly before touching your face, preparing and eating food, and covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing into tissues or a flexed elbow.

Meanwhile, the report says, the UK government has taken steps to protect supplies of lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) in the light of its potential to treat the new coronavirus. There are at least three clinical trials underway into the use of lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) against coronavirus, as well as two trials testing darunavir/cobicistat (Rezolsta or Prezcobix). However, some experts think that other drugs, with a broader spectrum of antiviral activity, have more potential against coronavirus.

Full Aidsmap report

Public Health England material

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