HIV increases risk of severe and critical COVID-19 – WHO
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), increase risk of severe and critical COVID-19.
The World Health Organisation said in a research that showed a major increase in deaths among hospitalised COVID-19 patients who also have the virus that causes AIDS.
“There are more than 37 million people known to be living with HIV globally, and up to 45 million have died from the virus since the start of the AIDS pandemic.
“Previous studies had failed to establish a clear link between HIV and a higher likelihood of severe COVID-19 illness and death, given that many patients also suffer from additional health complications such as high blood pressure or obesity.”
Researchers analysed data on more than 15,500 people living with HIV who were hospitalised for COVID-19.
The average age of patients was 45.5 years and more than a third had severe or critical COVID-19.
Ninety-two percent had received anti-retroviral therapy prior to hospitalisation.
Among patients for whom an outcome was recorded, 23 per cent died in hospital.
According to IAS President, Adeeba Kamarulzaman, “HIV appears to be a significant independent risk factor for severe or critical illness at hospital admission and in-hospital mortality.
“The global community must do more to ensure immediate vaccine supply to countries with high HIV disease prevalence
“It is unacceptable that as of today, less than three percent of the entire African continent has received a single dose of the vaccine, and less than 1.5 percent have received both doses.”