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.