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<jats:p>Objective: To assess whether people living with HIV (PLWH) are at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality or adverse outcomes, and whether antiretroviral therapy (ART) influences this risk. Design: Rapid review with meta-analysis and narrative synthesis. Methods: We searched databases including Embase, Medline, medRxiv, and Google Scholar up to 26th August 2020 for studies describing COVID-19 outcomes in PLWH and conducted a meta-analysis of higher quality studies. Results: We identified 1,908 studies and included 19 in the review. In a meta-analysis of five studies, PLWH had a higher risk of COVID-19 mortality (hazard ratio (HR) 1.93, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.59-2.34) compared to people without HIV. Risk of death remained elevated for PLWH in a subgroup analysis of hospitalised cohorts (HR 1.54, 95% CI: 1.05-2.24) and studies of PLWH across all settings (HR 2.08, 95%CI: 1.69-2.56). Eight other studies assessed the association between HIV and COVID-19 outcomes, but provided inconclusive, lower-quality evidence due to potential confounding and selection bias. There were insufficient data on the effect of CD4+ T cell count and HIV viral load on COVID-19 outcomes. Eleven studies reported COVID-19 outcomes by ART-regimen. In the two largest studies, tenofovir-disoproxil-fumarate (TDF)-based regimens were associated with a lower risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes, although these analyses are susceptible to confounding by comorbidities. Conclusion: Evidence is emerging that suggests a moderately increased risk of COVID-19 mortality amongst PLWH. Further investigation into the relationship between COVID-19 outcomes and CD4+ T cell count, HIV viral load, ART and the use of TDF is warranted.</jats:p>

Original publication




Journal article


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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