Given the magnitude of the global COVID-19 pandemic, persons living with HIV (PLWH) may become co-infected with SARS-COV-2.
We conducted a survey in Wuhan, China, to characterize the status of co-infected PLWH, their time to clinical improvement, and clinical prognoses.
Using a Wuhan shipping service for antiretroviral medications, the Wuhan LGBT Center screened 2900 PLWH shipping addresses and cross-referenced 36 of them to quarantine sites or hospitals, suggesting possible COVID-19 cases. Via telephone calls and WeChat (social media) messaging, we conducted a survey after obtaining online informed consent.
We had 12 HIV-infected respondents (10 men, 2 women) who also reported COVID-19. Median age was 36 years (inter-quartile range: 33.0-56.3), mean age 42.4, and range 25-66 years of age. Nine of 10 persons on antiretroviral therapy (ART) presented with only mild COVID-19 symptoms. The tenth person on ART was a 56-year old man who died at home early in the outbreak when healthcare services were overwhelmed. Two additional cases who had been in intensive care with acute COVID-19 were both men, ages 25 and 37; both were ART-naïve until this hospitalization. Excluding the deceased man, 6 of 11 co-infected persons reported feeling depressed even after clinical improvements.
Twelve co-infected persons were identified in Wuhan; nine of 10 were on long-term ART and had favorable outcomes. Two men identified as having started ART only recently were found to have severe symptoms. Our case series suggests the value of ART for potential mitigation of COVID-19 co-infection.