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No increased COVID-19 mortality for people with HIV — large US cohort analysis

An analysis of the largest cohort of people living with HIV in the US found that they were not more likely to contract the new coronavirus, and those who did so were not more likely to develop severe COVID-19, Aidsmap reports researchers reported at the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020: Virtual).

"While people with HIV have higher testing rates, thus far, we have not found evidence of increased burden of positivity among those tested, nor an increased risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes by HIV status," the researchers concluded.

Studies conducted in different parts of the world have generally found that people with HIV are no more likely to contract the coronavirus (known as SARS-CoV-2) or develop severe illness than their HIV-negative counterparts. Similar COVID-19 outcomes have been observed in London and New York City.

The report says a recent study in Spain actually saw lower rates of coronavirus positivity and death among HIV-positive people taking antiretrovirals, especially tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/emtricitabine (the drugs in Truvada), leading the researchers to suggest that certain HIV drugs might have a protective effect. The main exception to date is a study from South Africa which showed increased COVID-19 mortality among people with HIV.

Aiming to shed more like on this topic, Dr Lesley Park of Stanford University School of Medicine in California and colleagues examined COVID-19 testing and outcomes among people with and without HIV in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study.

Park LS et al COVID-19 in the largest US HIV cohort. 23rd International AIDS Conference, abstract LBPEC23, 2020
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