People living with HIV are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, but have lower access to vaccines

A growing body of evidence indicates that people living with HIV who become infected with SARS-CoV-2 are more likely to be hospitalized and that treatment is less effective.

Data from the United States of America shows that people living with HIV who have contracted SARS-CoV-2 infection are much more likely to be hospitalized. They are also more at risk of developing a severe form than HIV-negative people. Finally, studies in England and South Africa show that people with HIV are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as the rest of the population. An advanced form of HIV or the presence of chronic co-morbidities, common in people living with HIV, seem to be strongly correlated with a lower effectiveness of treatments against COVID-19.

However, access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world remains extremely uneven and unfair. As of October 2021, vaccine access levels were still low in low- and lower-middle-income countries, which are home to more than half (55%) of people living with HIV globally.


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