Research finds people diagnosed with HIV in New York State were more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19

University at Albany, State University of New York

Newswise — ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb 3, 2021) – New research out of the University at Albany School of Public Health and the AIDS Institute at the New York State Department of Health examined the relationship between HIV infection and COVID-19 – finding that through the middle of 2020, people diagnosed with HIV infection were significantly more likely to contract, be hospitalized with and die from COVID-19.

More than one million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with HIV, with more than 100,000 living in New York State. According to Eli Rosenberg, associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, because HIV infection weakens the immune system and is associated with a variety of comorbidities, people living with HIV may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Published in JAMA Network Open, the researchers from both institutions merged statewide databases for HIV surveillance, COVID-19 diagnoses and COVID-19 hospitalizations. They then compared rates of COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalization and death between New Yorkers with and without an HIV diagnosis from March to mid-June. Because some increased mortality is a result of people with HIV having risk factors for COVID-19 (such as being male and older), the researchers also conducted an adjusted analysis to understand “how much was due to HIV infection itself,” Rosenberg said.

Results before adjustment include:

  • New Yorkers with an HIV diagnosis were 43 percent more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those without HIV, and 161 percent more likely to be hospitalized with the virus
  • HIV patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were 155 percent more likely to die in the hospital of COVID-19 than those without HIV
  • One in 522 New Yorkers infected with HIV died in the hospital of COVID-19 from March to mid-June
  • Those with more advanced HIV disease (in terms of lower CD4+ T-cell levels, a type of white blood cell typically used as a marker for HIV) faced even greater risks from COVID-19

After adjustment, results indicated that the levels of diagnosis and mortality, given a person was already hospitalized, were not driving disparities in total hospitalizations and deaths. Rather, it was the likelihood of developing severe COVID-19 needing hospitalization, once infected, which appeared to explain elevated levels of hospitalization and death – persons with HIV still had 1.38 times (or 38 percent more) the level of hospitalization compared to those without.   

“New York has long been an epicenter of the HIV epidemic and in the spring became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rosenberg. “Data from New York offer an unparalleled opportunity to understand the intersection of the epidemic.”

“The results indicate that prevention and treatment efforts need to give additional consideration and support to the needs and heightened risk of persons living with HIV, including vaccination efforts, when the federal government makes more doses available.” concluded Rosenberg.

Noting that current CDC recommendations are inconclusive about whether HIV infection is considered a qualifying underlying illness for vaccine prioritization, David Holtgrave, dean of the School of Public Health and a researcher on the project, added, “We must ensure that all persons living with HIV are appropriately prioritized and are supported to access safe and highly-efficacious COVID-19 vaccines as soon as supplies become available.”

“As our results clearly establish that more advanced HIV disease is associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes, it is critically important that as soon as additional doses become available from the federal government, people living with HIV have access to and accept vaccination,” said Johanne Morne, Director of the AIDS Institute and study author. “This, along with continued medication adherence and access to HIV care, could help to mitigate the impact of COVID and ensure that the significant progress realized over the last several years towards ending New York State’s HIV epidemic is not lost.”

Citing the evidence of this study, the AIDS Institute’s HIV Clinical Guidelines Committee recently issued a statement outlining the case and recommended practices for vaccination of persons living with HIV.

The study is part of the Center for Collaborative HIV Research in Practice and Policy at the School of Public Health, a research center designed to leverage partnerships with the AIDS Institute and other collaborators to expand collaborations to address social justice and public health challenges of persons at risk for or living with HIV and related diseases.



Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5625
Released: 12-May-2021 5:10 PM EDT
Understanding SARS-COV-2 proteins is key to improve therapeutic options for COVID-19
Bentham Science Publishers

COVID-19 has had a significant impact since the pandemic was declared by WHO in 2020, with over 3 million deaths and counting, Researchers and medical teams have been hard at work at developing strategies to control the spread of the infection, caused by SARS-COV-2 virus and treat affected patients.

Newswise: 264700_web.jpg
Released: 12-May-2021 4:55 PM EDT
COVID-19 vaccine does not damage the placenta in pregnancy
Northwestern University

A new Northwestern Medicine study of placentas from patients who received the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy found no evidence of injury, adding to the growing literature that COVID-19 vaccines are safe in pregnancy.

Released: 12-May-2021 3:45 PM EDT
Parks not only safe, but essential during the pandemic
Drexel University

Parks played an important role for people seeking respite from the toll of social isolation during the pandemic, and according to new research from Drexel University, they did so without increasing the spread of COVID-19.

access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 18-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 12-May-2021 3:35 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 18-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Newswise: Pandemic Has 'Severely Weakened Surgical Innovation Pipeline'
Released: 12-May-2021 3:15 PM EDT
Pandemic Has 'Severely Weakened Surgical Innovation Pipeline'
Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School

In a new study for the journal Surgical Innovation, Associate Professor Toby Gordon of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School addresses the ways in which COVID-19 has slowed medical innovation.

Released: 12-May-2021 2:55 PM EDT
Mental health helplines need human-centered solutions
Cornell University

In India today, dozens of phone numbers are available for people who are having a severe mental health emergency. Oftentimes, however, callers experience difficulty in getting connected with someone who will listen to them; sometimes the phone will just ring and ring.

Newswise: Weizmann Institute Scientists Reveal the Triple Threat of Coronavirus
Released: 12-May-2021 2:40 PM EDT
Weizmann Institute Scientists Reveal the Triple Threat of Coronavirus
Weizmann Institute of Science

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute and the Israel Institute for Biological, Chemical and Environmental Sciences took a novel tack to investigating SARS-CoV-2’s powerful ability to infect, finding that the virus deploys an apparently unique three-pronged strategy to take over the cell’s protein-synthesis abilities. The work could help develop effective Covid-19 treatments.

Newswise: Rush Collaborates With Malcolm X College to Train COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassadors
Released: 12-May-2021 2:20 PM EDT
Rush Collaborates With Malcolm X College to Train COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassadors
Rush University Medical Center

Rush staff members collaborated with Malcom X College to provide content including video scenarios and conversation advice, for a new Vaccine Ambassador Course offered to the public.

Newswise: Using Ultrasound Stimulation to Reduce Inflammation in COVID-19 In-Patients
Released: 12-May-2021 1:35 PM EDT
Using Ultrasound Stimulation to Reduce Inflammation in COVID-19 In-Patients
University of California San Diego Health

Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine have begun a pilot clinical trial to test the efficacy of using ultrasound to stimulate the spleen and reduce COVID-19-related inflammation, decreasing the length of hospital stays.

Released: 12-May-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Rapid COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Delivers Results Within 4 Minutes With 90 Percent Accuracy
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

A low-cost, rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19 developed by Penn Medicine provides COVID-19 results within four minutes with 90 percent accuracy. A paper published this week in Matter details the fast and inexpensive diagnostic test, called RAPID 1.0. Compared to existing methods for COVID-19 detection, RAPID is inexpensive and highly scalable, allowing the production of millions of units per week.

Showing results

110 of 5625