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COVID And HIV Association – Myth Or Reality?

Recent studies have shown controversial responses to COVID and HIV Association. Antiretroviral-treated HIV patients demonstrated broad immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Compromised immunity is linked to poor COVID-19 outcomes, and studies to date have yielded conflicting results on whether people living with HIV are more likely to develop severe COVID-19 and die.

HIV And COVID-19 In South Africa

The omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, which has 50 mutations that distinguish it from the original virus, is thought to have evolved during a prolonged infection in someone with a compromised immune system. The likely emergence of Omicron in southern Africa has raised whether this heavily mutated variant results from the HIV pandemic, which remains a common cause of immunodeficiency in the region. Covid-19 has only exacerbated these pre-existing issues, decreasing access to routine care and HIV testing, treatment, and prevention. So, many immunocompromised people who are more likely to get long-term infections like COVID-19 are more likely to get COVID-19 and have mutations of SARS-CoV-2 in their bodies.

HIV And COVID Deaths

There is no indication that HIV-positive persons are more likely to get SARS-CoV-2 than HIV-negative people. Researchers in the United States compared over 55,000 patients with HIV to a control sample of 3.7 million people who did not have HIV. Testing rates were greater in the HIV group, but the percentage of individuals tested who had SARS-CoV-2 was comparable. Most studies demonstrate that persons with HIV who have underlying health issues like obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure are at a greater risk of severe illness or death than other HIV patients.

A meta-analysis of nine studies that looked at the impact of underlying health conditions on COVID-19 outcomes in people with HIV discovered that chronic kidney disease increased the risk of death or hospitalization due to COVID-19 nine times, diabetes seven times, and hypertension or chronic respiratory disease four times more than in people with HIV who did not have that condition. According to a registry of COVID-19 cases among adults living with HIV in the United Kingdom, obese people had four times the risk of severe infection compared to those of average weight. Each underlying condition increased the likelihood of serious illness by 24%.

The UK registry also discovered that those with an AIDS-defining disease were three times more likely to suffer from severe illness than other HIV patients. Several studies have shown that a low CD4 cell count increases the chance of poor outcomes even in the absence of underlying health problems. Persons with CD4 levels below 200 had a greater risk of mortality or extended hospitalization, according to the UK registry than people with CD4 counts over 200. The National COVID Cohort Collaborative Consortium in the United States analyzed 8270 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection diagnosed up to May 2021. They discovered that those with CD4 levels between 350 and 500 were three times more likely than people with CD4 counts over 500 to be admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. People with CD4 levels less than 350 were six times more likely to be hospitalized. Even among those with high CD4 counts, having a detectable viral load increased the likelihood of being admitted to the hospital.

HIV And COVID Antibodies

The epidemic of COVID-19 has taken the globe off guard, with no preventative or treatment plans in place. In addition to attempts to find an effective vaccine, other measures to control this pandemic, which will most likely need numerous accessible remedies, are critical. Among these, monoclonal anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus two antibodies were obtained at record speed using methods for HIV antibody development. The lessons acquired from discovering anti-HIV antibodies have given the foundation for the fast creation of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Researchers successfully found robust, broadly neutralizing antibodies against HIV and used antibody discovery strategies to produce new potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies effective in animal models. These antibodies are potential therapeutic candidates for COVID-19 therapy or prevention.

COVID Vaccine Side Effects For HIV Patients

There is no indication that the COVID-19 vaccination interacts with HIV antiretroviral drugs. Furthermore, no studies indicate that the immunization has any negative interactions with pre-exposure prophylaxis, often known as PrEP. These medications aid in preventing HIV infection in people who are predisposed to it. Researchers are investigating the impact of the several COVID-19 vaccines on HIV patients. Yet, no research suggests that those infected with the virus have more significant adverse effects than others. The following are common side effects for all individuals:

  • The injection location is causing discomfort and edema.
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Fever

Which COVID Vaccine Is Best For HIV Patients?

Many COVID-19 vaccination trials have included a limited percentage of HIV-positive people. Despite little data, existing evidence shows that the ccommendedCOVID-19 vaccines (AstraZeneca/Oxford, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, Sinopharm, and Sinovac) are safe for HIV patients. The current vaccination products are not live vaccines; instead, they include genetic material from SARS-CoV-2 that cannot multiply. As a result, immunocompromised vaccinations are unlikely to be less safe. In immunocompromised individuals have been no reports of drug interactions between COVID-19 vaccines and antiretroviral drugs, which people with HIV should keep taking after they get the vaccine to maintain their health.


Any virus, including the novel coronavirus, may live for an extended period within the body of a person with compromised immunity, where it might mutate. Immunocompromised or immunosuppressed people may then spread the new virus to another person. One of the consequences of a condition like HIV on the patient is that their immune systems are impaired, making it difficult to fight off infections that healthy individuals can quickly remove from their systems. It is thought that the longer a virus stays inside a person, the more likely it is to change.

About The Authors

Suleman Shah

Suleman Shah - Suleman Shah is a researcher and freelance writer. As a researcher, he has worked with MNS University of Agriculture, Multan (Pakistan) and Texas A & M University (USA). He regularly writes science articles and blogs for science news website immersse.com and open access publishers OA Publishing London and Scientific Times. He loves to keep himself updated on scientific developments and convert these developments into everyday language to update the readers about the developments in the scientific era. His primary research focus is Plant sciences, and he contributed to this field by publishing his research in scientific journals and presenting his work at many Conferences. Shah graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan) and started his professional carrier with Jaffer Agro Services and later with the Agriculture Department of the Government of Pakistan. His research interest compelled and attracted him to proceed with his carrier in Plant sciences research. So, he started his Ph.D. in Soil Science at MNS University of Agriculture Multan (Pakistan). Later, he started working as a visiting scholar with Texas A&M University (USA). Shah’s experience with big Open Excess publishers like Springers, Frontiers, MDPI, etc., testified to his belief in Open Access as a barrier-removing mechanism between researchers and the readers of their research. Shah believes that Open Access is revolutionizing the publication process and benefitting research in all fields.

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