According to a new study, people with HIV who have moderately low CD4 cell counts are at a higher risk for severe breakthrough COVID-19 infection.
The study, which was published in the journal AIDS, looked at data from the University of Washington’s International AIDS Society-sponsored COVID-19 Global Access (ACTG A5354) trial. ACTG A5354 is a multinational, observational study of people with HIV who are enrolled in HIV care and treatment programs.
The study found that people with HIV who had CD4 cell counts between 200 and 350 cells/mm3 were at a three-fold higher risk for severe breakthrough COVID-19 infection, compared to those with CD4 cell counts above 350 cells/mm3.
People with HIV who have moderately low CD4 cell counts are more likely to have underlying health conditions that put them at a higher risk for severe respiratory infections, such as pneumonia. In addition, people with HIV are more likely to be infected with COVID-19 for a longer period of time, which can lead to more severe disease.
The findings highlight the importance of maintaining high CD4 cell counts in people with HIV, in order to reduce the risk for severe COVID-19 infection.
Higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection for people with HIV with moderately low CD4 cell counts:
A new study has found that people living with HIV who have moderately low CD4 cell counts are at a higher risk of severe infection if they contract COVID-19.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at data from 1,305 HIV-positive adults in the United States who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 between March and May 2020.
Of those studied, 26% were classified as having moderate to severe COVID-19 infection, and 5% were hospitalized.
When the researchers looked at the relationship between CD4 cell count and severity of COVID-19 infection, they found that people with HIV and CD4 cell counts between 200 and 350 cells/mm3 were more than four times as likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 as those with HIV and CD4 cell counts above 500 cells/mm3.
People with HIV and CD4 cell counts between 350 and 500 cells/mm3 were also more than twice as likely to be classified as having moderate to severe COVID-19 infection.
The findings of this study underscore the importance of maintaining good HIV control, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
People with HIV who have lower CD4 cell counts are more susceptible to other infections, and this study shows that they are also at a higher risk of more severe illness if they contract COVID-19.
Therefore, it is even more important for people with HIV to take steps to prevent COVID-19 infection, such as wearing a mask, washing their hands, and social distancing.