THURSDAY, May 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) – Like certain health conditions such as cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, new research shows that having HIV or AIDS increases the risk of being caught and killed by COVID-19.
For the study, researchers at Penn State College of Medicine evaluated data from 22 previous studies of 21 million participants in North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
The researchers found that people living with HIV had a 24% higher risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and a 78% higher risk of HIV-related deaths. COVID that people without HIV.
“Previous studies were not conclusive on whether or not HIV is a risk factor for susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and poor outcomes in populations with COVID-19,” said the lead researcher. Dr. Paddy Ssentongo, an adjunct professor at Penn State’s Center for Neural Engineering.
“This is because the vast majority of people living with HIV / AIDS have ART [antiretroviral therapy], some of which have been used experimentally to treat COVID-19, “he said in a Penn State press release.
According to the World Health Organization, about 38 million people worldwide live with HIV or AIDS. Some pre-existing conditions are common among people living with HIV / AIDS, which may contribute to the severity of their COVID-19 cases.
Among HIV-positive people, the most common pre-existing health conditions were high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and chronic kidney disease.
About 66% of the study participants were men, with a mean age of 56 years. Most people with HIV / AIDS (96%) were on antiretroviral therapy, which helps suppress the amount of HIV detected in the body.
The beneficial effects of antiviral drugs (such as protease inhibitors) in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 death in people living with HIV / AIDS remain inconclusive, they noted. the study authors.
Researcher Vernon Chinchilli, chair of Penn State’s public health sciences department, said: “As the pandemic has evolved, we have gained enough information to characterize the epidemiology of HIV / SARS-CoV-coinfection. 2, which could not be done at the beginning of the pandemic due to the scarcity of data.Our findings support the current guide to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prioritize people living with HIV to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The findings were recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about COVID-19.
SOURCE: Penn State Health, press release, May 11, 2021