SARS-COV-2 Infection in People Living with HIV: Experience from a Tertiary Hospital in Madrid

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2022 May;38(5):394-398. doi: 10.1089/AID.2021.0159. Epub 2022 Jan 28.


Since SAR-COV-2 infection emerged and spread worldwide, little is known about its impact on people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We performed a single-center retrospective study to describe the potential particularities and risk factors for respiratory failure (RF) in that population. This single-center retrospective study included patients infected with HIV, whose current follow-up is run in this center, above18 years of age, with diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection between March 5, 2020 and April 15, 2021. We collected data regarding HIV immunological and virological status, main epidemiological characteristics, as well as those conditions considered to potentially influence in SARS-CoV-2 evolution; and clinical, microbiological, radiological, respiratory status, and survival concerning coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We compared all that, for patients with and without RF and performed a logistic regression for suspected risk factors for RF. One hundred seventy-seven HIV patients were diagnosed from COVID-19 (mean age 53.8 years, 81.3% male). At diagnosis, 95.5% were receiving ART and 91.3% had undetectable viral load, with median CD4 count of 569 cells/μL. One hundred thirty-eight patients (78.4%) had symptoms, 44 (25%) developed RF and 53 (31%) developed bilateral pneumonia. The most commonly used treatments were: steroids (26.7%) and hydroxychloroquine (13.1%). When comparing patients with and without RF, we found statistically significant differences for 20 of the analyzed variables such as age (p < .001) and CD4 (p 0.002), and route of HIV transmission by intravenous drug users IVDU (p 0.002) were determined. In multivariate analysis, age [odds ratio (OR) 1.095] and CD4 count less than 350 cells/μL (OR 3.36) emerged as risk factor for RF. People living with HIV whose CD4 count is <350 cells are at higher risk of developing RF when infected by SARS-CoV-2.

Keywords: COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019); human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); respiratory failure; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Tertiary Care Centers