SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination Hesitancy and Behaviors in a National Sample of People Living with HIV

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2022 Jan;36(1):34-44. doi: 10.1089/apc.2021.0144. Epub 2021 Dec 15.


As COVID-19 vaccinations became available in early 2021, we collected data from a US national sample of 496 people living with HIV (PLWH) to assess COVID-19 vaccination uptake and attitudes. The study was cross-sectional, and data were collected using an online survey between March and May 2021. At the time, 64% of the participants received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine uptake was associated with older age and more years living with HIV, higher educational attainment, less vaccine hesitancy, and higher perceived COVID-19 vulnerability. Rates of vaccination uptake were highest among sexual and gender minority (SGM) cisgender men and transgender participants as well as those more likely to report undetectable viral load. Among the 166 unvaccinated, intention to receive the vaccine was related to older age and years living with HIV as well as lower vaccine hesitancy. Among the unvaccinated, SGM individuals demonstrated higher intent than non-SGM individuals. Findings indicate relatively high levels of vaccination in PLWH, although uptake and intent are not monolithic in the population. Patterns of vaccination are consistent with the health behavior literature in so much as those with higher levels of perceived heath vulnerability due to age as well as higher levels of proactivity about their HIV health are more likely to be vaccinated or intend to be vaccinated. Ongoing vigilance is required to vaccinate the US population, particularly those with underlying conditions such as HIV, as is the need to tailor health messaging to the highly diverse population of PLWH, with particular emphasis on the intersection of HIV and SGM status.

Keywords: COVID-19; HIV/AIDS; health behavior; vaccination beliefs; vaccine.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19 Vaccines
  • COVID-19*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • HIV Infections*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccination Hesitancy


  • COVID-19 Vaccines