Covid-19

Effects of Covid 19 On HIV

We are still learning about COVID-19, and it’s a global health emergency. But how it affects people with HIV? As of now no studies or research is available on the impact of coronavirus on people living with HIV.

Effects of Covid 19 On HIV

We all know that COVID-19 is a serious disease. Is COVID-19 worse in people living with HIV? Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for people living with HIV? Can HIV treatment be used against COVID-19? Read on and find more about it.

Effects of Covid 19 On HIV

HIV AND COVID-19

Still, the studies and research is going on about COVID-19 and how it affects people with HIV. According to the limited data it’s found that people with HIV who are on effective HIV treatment have the same risk for COVID-19 as people who do not have HIV. Also, those individual with HIV should take the needed precautions to reduce exposure to COVID-19:

  • Handwashing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain a 1-meter distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Make sure to cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for people living with HIV?

Vaccines that are approved for use or under development are considered safe for people living with HIV. Also to be approved the vaccines must pass multiple safety trials, and be reviewed by national regulators to ensure they are both safe and effective. And many of the COVID-19 vaccine trials included people living with HIV.

The vaccines of COVID-19 help the HIV people in your body to develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. So it helps you to fight it off if exposed. Also, it is important to continue to take steps to prevent COVID-19, after getting vaccinated.

How can people living with HIV prepare for COVID-19?

If you’re living with HIV, take extra steps to look after your health during this time.

Follow the general prevention advice to avoid COVID- 19.

  • Take your ART to keep your immune system healthy.
  • Try to stock-up on your antiretroviral treatment, or any other medication you need to take.
  • Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Have a plan for if you need to stay at home, including how to get food and medicine.
  • Make sure you are eating well and exercising as best you can.
  • Look after your mental health and seek support if you need it.

Do COVID-19 worse in people living with HIV?

Still, the studies and research is going on and some of the studies have found that people living with HIV may be more at risk, but there is not enough evidence to confirm this. And some of the evidence suggests that HIV is less of a risk factor for severe COVID-19 than other health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, severe asthma, respiratory disease, heart disease, liver disease, stroke, dementia, or older age.

So the best way to stay healthy is by taking your antiretroviral treatment, as well as any medication you have been prescribed for other health conditions.

Do people who live with HIV more at risk of getting ill?

Yes, so the people with HIV who have a compromised immune system should be extra cautious to prevent coronavirus infection, as their immune system may not be prepared to fight COVID-19. This includes people with:

A low CD4 count

A high viral load,

Recent opportunistic infection (for example, tuberculosis (TB).

Tips to prevent COVID-19 for people living with HIV

The advice for people living with HIV is mostly the same as everyone else.

  • Maintain a 1-meter distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a face mask.
  • Handwashing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Keep a distance from people who are feeling unwell.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces regularly.
  • Make sure to cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze and dispose of the used tissue immediately.

Can HIV medicine (ART) be used against COVID-19?

Currently, there is no strong evidence that antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV are effective COVID-19. And if you’re already taking ART, you can still get COVID-19, and also you should take precautions to prevent the virus from spreading and reduce your own risk. COVID-19 is a new illness, so it’s important you keep an eye on advice from:

  • The World Health Organization,
  • Your country’s national public health department,
  • Local HIV organizations,
  • Your doctor or healthcare worker.

Some Facts on HIV And COVID-19

  • People who are living with HIV and on effective antiretroviral treatment (ART) do not appear to be at greater risk of getting COVID-19.
  • HIV is less of a risk factor for severe COVID-19 than other health conditions.
  • Speak to a healthcare professional for more information on how to stay healthy.
  • Older people living with HIV and those with other underlying health conditions should take extra precautions to prevent illness.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are believed to be safe for people living with HIV.

We can’t yet be sure that any vaccine will permanently prevent people from catching COVID-19, we need to prepare ourselves for safety.

Hope you liked this “Effects of Covid 19 On HIV” article and found it useful. If you have any questions about this article, do leave us a comment below and we’ll try our best to answer you.

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