Early in the pandemic, small studies suggested people with HIV were not more likely to develop severe COVID-19 or die from it. But some recent studies indicate that HIV-positive people might have a modestly increased risk. New York State Department of Health researchers found that HIV-positive people with COVID-19 had about a 40% higher likelihood of hospitalization, but once hospitalized, their mortality rate was similar. A study in the United Kingdom found that people with HIV and COVID-19 had nearly a threefold higher risk of death, and the difference was even greater for Black people. In another U.K. study, HIV-positive people were younger than HIV-negative people hospitalized with COVID-19, and they had a 69% higher risk of death. And in South Africa, HIV-positive people were more than twice as likely to die of COVID-19. The increased risk appears to be related to higher rates of comorbidities and lower CD4 counts. But other studies continue to see no link between HIV status and worse COVID-19 outcomes.
Concerns: COVID-19 and HIV
Larger studies suggest people living with HIV might have a modestly higher risk of severe COVID-19, but much remains to be learned.