COVID-19 Mortality Rates and Outcomes for HIV Patients Better Than HIV-Negative Group


Small study shows HIV patients not at a greater risk for worse outcomes.

In a small hospital study, HIV patients who were hospitalized for coronavirus (COVID-19) fared better compared to a HIV-negative population.

“People living with HIV (PLWH) had fewer deaths and did not experience worse outcomes than HIV-negative patients, suggesting HIV is not a negative prognostic indicator in COVID-19, “ the investigators wrote.

The findings, presented during the International AIDS Society (IAS) AIDS 2020 Virtual Sessions this week, offered some interesting information in an area not yet fully covered. The investigators noted that not much has been done to explore COVID-19 in the HIV population in terms of looking at them as a potentially vulnerable population.

Whereas, much has been discussed in terms of patients with COVID-19 and comorbidities, and how they often struggle and deal with a greater severity in dealing with virus.

Ming Lee led a team of investigators who looked at hospitalized COVID-19 patients. This was a retrospective study comparing PLWH and HIV-negative patients. Both patient groups had been admitted to the hospital between March 1 and April 30 and were diagnosed with COVID-19. Matching was blinded to outcomes, up to a 3:1 ratio, by test date (±7 days), age (±5 years), gender, and deprivation index decile (±1).

The team’s primary endpoint was defined as the time covering COVID-19 diagnosis to '¥2 points improvement from baseline on an ordinal scale [1 being not hospitalized and able to do normal activities, and 7 being death or palliation].

In the follow-up, which was carried out within 28 days, there were 0 deaths amongst the PLWH patient group and 5 deaths HIV-negative group. Fourteen (82%) people in the PLWH group were discharged and 37 (74%) in the HIV-negative group were discharged from the hospital. From the PLWH group, 13 (76%) experienced '¥2 points improvement and 34 (68%) from the HIV negative group also realized this improvement.

Interestingly, the media time to improvement was 5 days in the PLWH group and 9.5 days in the HIV negative group. And the former group was more likely to reach the primary endpoint (HR=2.67; 95% CI 1.21'5.91, p=0.015).

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