Traditionally, those living with HIV are more vulnerable to infections. Do patients with HIV face greater risks with the COVID-19 pandemic? Little is known as to whether HIV puts people at higher risk in face of the SARS-CoV-2-driven COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers from the University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS research will investigate in collaboration with a team from University of California, San Diego.
The teams from the Seattle area and San Diego have come together to launch a new epidemiological study of COVID-19 among 35,000 people living with HIV nationwide, reports Sabin Russell with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The observational investigators, upon consent, will review and analyze medical records in search of patterns in the risk factor of those specific patients testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. Paying close attention to data such as levels of infection-fighting white blood cells (CD4 count) as well as underlying patient history of health conditions, the team will segment patient record by those who were hospitalized, those who needed to ventilators, and those who died due to the virus.
A Kaiser Study
A similar study will occur at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, which includes over 4.7 million members. The study team will examine if those people living with HIV are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes as compared to those living without HIV.
The Human Interest
Follow the link below to the source at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center to read all of Sabin Russell’s interesting story about the concerns and challenges of those living with HIV in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Rachel Bender Ignacio, MD, MPH and Infectious Disease Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center