HIV increases risks of covid-19 infection – WHO


A new World Health Organisation report has confirmed that HIV infection is a significant independent risk factor for both severe and critical COVID-19 presentation at hospital admission and in-hospital mortality.

The report is based on clinical surveillance data from 37 countries regarding the risk of poor COVID-19 outcomes in people living with HIV (PLHIV) admitted to hospital for COVID-19.

In a statement on its website, the health agency stated that nearly a quarter of people living with HIV and who were hospitalised as a result of COVID-19 infection ended up dying.

The statement quoted Meg Doherty, Director of WHO’s Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI Programmes, as saying “the report released today (Thursday) will have important policy implications.

“It will provide data to confirm that HIV is a risk for poor outcomes from COVID-19 and increases the urgency to see all PLHIV on treatment and with access to COVID-19 vaccinations.’’

It found that the risk of developing severe or fatal COVID-19 was 30 per cent greater in PLHIV compared to people without HIV infection and underlying conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are common among PLHIV.

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