The interplay between HIV and COVID-19: summary of the data and responses to date

Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2021 Jan;16(1):63-73. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000659.


Purpose of review: We examine the interplay between the HIV and COVID-19 epidemics, including the impact of HIV on COVID-19 susceptibility and severe disease, the effect of the COVID-19 epidemic on HIV prevention and treatment, and the influence of the HIV epidemic on responses to COVID-19.

Recent findings: Evidence to date does not suggest that people living with HIV (PLWH) have a markedly higher susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, with disparities in the social determinants of health and comorbidities likely having a greater influence. The majority of literature has not supported a higher risk for severe disease among PLWH in Europe and the United States, although a large, population-based study in South Africa reported a higher rate of death due to COVID-19. Higher rates of comorbidities associated with COVID-19 disease severity among PLWH is an urgent concern. COVID-19 is leading to decreased access to HIV prevention services and HIV testing, and worsening HIV treatment access and virologic suppression, which could lead to worsening HIV epidemic control.

Conclusion: COVID-19 is threatening gains against the HIV epidemic, including the U.S. Ending the HIV Epidemic goals. The ongoing collision of these two global pandemics will continue to need both study and interventions to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on HIV efforts worldwide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / complications
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / mortality
  • COVID-19 / virology*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • HIV / genetics
  • HIV / physiology*
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / mortality
  • HIV Infections / virology*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2 / genetics
  • SARS-CoV-2 / physiology*
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology