Comparison of Outcomes in HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Patients with COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

J Infect. 2021 May 26:S0163-4453(21)00262-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2021.05.020. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: South Africa has the highest prevalence of HIV in the world and to date has recorded the highest number of cases of COVID-19 in Africa. There is uncertainty as to what the significance of this dual infection is, and whether people living with HIV (PLWH) have worse outcomes compared to HIV-negative patients with COVID-19. This study compared the outcomes of COVID-19 in a group of HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients admitted to a tertiary referral centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

METHODS: Data was collected on all adult patients with known HIV status and COVID-19, confirmed by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), admitted to the medical wards and intensive care unit (ICU) between 6 March and 11 September 2020. The data included demographics, co-morbidities, laboratory results, severity of illness scores, complications and mortality and comparisons were made between the HIV-positive and HIV negative groups.

RESULTS: Three-hundred and eighty-four patients, 108 HIV-positive and 276 HIV-negative, were included in the study. Median 4C score was significantly higher in the HIV-positive patients compared to the HIV-negative patients but there was no significant difference in mortality between the HIV-positive and HIV-negative groups (15% vs 20%, p = 0.31). In addition, HIV-positive patients who died were younger than their HIV-negative counterparts, but this was not statistically significant (47.5 vs 57 years, p = 0.06).

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that HIV is not a risk factor for moderate or severe COVID-19 disease neither is it a risk factor for mortality. However, HIV-positive patients with COVID-19 requiring admission to hospital are more likely to be younger than their HIV-negative counterparts. These findings need to be confirmed in future, prospective, studies.

PMID:34051225 | DOI:10.1016/j.jinf.2021.05.020

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