Coronavirus, COVID-19, and Considerations for People Living with HIV and LGBTQIA+ People
What can people do with HIV to protect themselves from COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent getting sick is to avoid exposure to the virus.
People with HIV should take everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
People with HIV should also continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes:
Staying healthy helps your immune system fight off infection should it occur.
If you have HIV and are taking your HIV medicine, it is important to continue your treatment and follow the advice of your health care provider. This is the best way to keep your immune system healthy.
Are people with HIV at higher risk for COVID-19 than other people?
At the present time, we have no specific information about the risk of COVID-19 in people with HIV.
Older adults and people of any age who have a serious underlying medical condition might be at higher risk for severe illness, including people who are immunocompromised. The risk for people with HIV getting very sick is greatest in:
People with HIV can also be at increased risk of getting very sick with COVID-19 based on their age and other medical conditions.
What should I do if I think I may have COVID-19?
What else can people with HIV who are at higher risk of getting very sick with COVID-19 do to protect themselves?
Nearly half of people in the United States with diagnosed HIV are aged 50 years and older. People with HIV also have higher rates of certain underlying health conditions. Both increased age and these conditions can increase their risk for more severe illness if people with HIV get COVID-19, especially people with advanced HIV.
Steps that people with HIV can take to prepare in addition to what is recommended for everybody:
Can HIV medicine (ART) be used to treat COVID-19?
Some types of HIV medicine (for example, lopinavir-ritonavir) to treat COVID-19 are being evaluated.
Results from a clinical trial in China showed that lopinavir-ritonavir did not speed up recovery or reduce the amount of virus produced in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and pneumonia.
Until more is known about the effects of these medicines on COVID-19, people with HIV should not switch their HIV medicine in an attempt to prevent or treat COVID-19.
Are shortages of HIV medicines (ART) or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) expected?
Drug shortages or anticipated problems with HIV medicine have not been identified.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is closely monitoring the drug supply chain as the COVID-19 outbreak has the potential to disrupt the supply of medical and pharmaceutical products in the United States.
The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) has also remained in contact with the major manufacturers of HIV medicine as many of these products rely on ingredients produced in China.
As of March 10, 2020, there were no reports of manufacturing concerns or supply shortages.
Learn more about the FDA’s response to COVID-19.
Should People with HIV travel at this time?
What can everyone do to minimize stigma about COVID-19?
Minimizing stigma and misinformation about COVID-19 is very important. People with HIV have experience in dealing with stigma and can be allies in preventing COVID-19 stigma. Learn how you can reduce stigma and help prevent the spread of rumors about COVID-19
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This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-87) via grant H89HA00007.
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