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Ever since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, health officials have warned that those with compromised immune systems might be more vulnerable to succumbing to the coronavirus.
Obviously, this is worrying for people with HIV. HIV, after all, stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. As one community that looks to be prone to COVID-19, what are things people with HIV need to keep in mind with regards to the coronavirus?
HIV clinician and Terrence Higgins Trust medical director Dr. Michael Brady talked about all of this in a recent article he wrote for Attitude.
Brady admits that those with weakened immune systems are likely to be hit harder by COVID-19 when they are infected. However, he also assures that this does not mean that those with HIV have a higher risk of catching it.
According to him, the best thing to do is what health experts have been saying: staying at home, practicing social distancing, and only traveling when necessary. He also points out that those with an undetectable viral load and a good CD4 count do not technically count as people with weakened immune systems.
However, it is a different story for those who have a detectable viral load, are not on any HIV treatment, or whose CD4 count is less than 200. Brady says the British HIV Association advises those with a CD4 count less than 50 or those with already have a serious illness because of their weakened immune system should quarantine themselves at home as well as avoid face-to-face contact for three months, at a minimum.
COVID-19 cases continue to rise around the world. In the World Health Organization’s situation report dated March 29, the group reports that there are now 634,835 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, with 29,957 dead.
Since face-to-face contact is not recommended at this, it might be better to keep conversations on the virtual side. You can do this with the Adam4Adam app, which you can download here.
I would think that this, mostly, is something that goes without having to be said, a good dose of common-sense; yeah, I know, common sense is not that common. But ‘these’ are the individuals that I initially thought of- feeling concern for, considering this pandemic, being that it seems to be for the most part, more infectious, seeming, more fatal too. I was just hearing this morning about people who are infected with Covid-19, walking in to the hosp., only to end-up on a respirator 12 hrs., later fighting for their lives, don’t know if their immune sys., where prior… Read more »
What Brady parlays is the obvious… Corona is a virus & Aids is a virus and a virus is a virus…regardless of nomenclature. Any virus is opportunistic and as such will take any and every advantage it can to infect; hence, anyone and everyone with any type of immune suppression or compromise will be affected by a virus. Brady does not shed any illuminating light upon what any HIV+ person already knows…as long as the T4 Count does not drop below, 500, realistically speaking, is immune sufficient…750 – 1,000 is ideal. A Cancer sufferer or anyone suffering from COPD, Emphysema,… Read more »
Granted, becoming HIV+ should be no one’s goal, but with medical treatment, “undetectable” people are relatively robust. Besides, the common flu is a huge threat, but we never lose our cookies over that. The bottom line is to be responsible but stop drinking the panic juice. Doing so makes a person emotionally unstable. Stay with cold hard logic.
It’s now been over a year and a half since you posted this comment. With what has transpired with COVID in that time, do you still believe we were being served “the panic juice?”
Several articles I’ve read about Covid-19 are clear. Just about everyone can contract the virus; its death toll is higher on those who are somehow compromised. Even individuals who appear “totally healthy” can become a grim statistic due to some underlying, yet unobvious, issue. The virus does not seek out hiv-positive individuals anymore than any anyone else. Anyone who is negative, or who thinks they’re overall healthy, should still take the suggested general precautions: stay out of crowds, stay away from others who are ill or who you know have compromised health, wash your hands, call a doctor if you… Read more »
I’ve been very worried about a best friend who is HIV positive but undetectable. Thank you for this article.
Dr. Brady indicates that people with a good CD4 count should not be included in the group with weakened immune systems. Is he referring to those with CD4 above 600? What about the CD4 percentage or the CD4/CD8 ratio? Also, would those people on protease inhibitors, such as ritonavir, have some protection since this med is being used in some clinical trials against coronavirus?
If a bout of pneumonia would finish a person off, then they should lock themselves down. Just like any flu season actually. Killing people’s jobs will end up with higher numbers. We have already seen suicides and murders over the stress. Add poverty later and it will become obvious that the reaction benefited a few at the expense of many. It’s just another form of the common cold.