COVID-19 among adults living with HIV: Correlates of mortality in a general population in a resource-limited setting

Reshma Kassanjee, Mary-Ann Davies, Olina Ngwenya, Richard Osei-Yeboah, Theuns Jacobs, Erna Morden, Venessa Timmerman, Stefan Britz, Marc Mendelson, Jantjie Taljaard, Julien Riou, Andrew Boulle, Nicki Tiffin, Nesbert Zinyakatira

Research output: Working paperPreprint

Abstract / Description of output

INTRODUCTION: While a large proportion of people with HIV (PWH) have experienced SARS-CoV-2 infections, there is uncertainty about the role of HIV disease severity on COVID-19 outcomes, especially in lower income settings. We studied the association between mortality and characteristics of HIV severity and management, and vaccination, among adult PWH.

METHODS: We analysed observational cohort data on all PWH aged ≥15 years experiencing a diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection (until March 2022), who accessed public sector healthcare in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Logistic regression was used to study the association of mortality with CD4 cell count, viral load, evidence of ART, time since first HIV evidence, and vaccination, adjusting for demographic characteristics, comorbidities, admission pressure, location and time period.

RESULTS: Mortality occurred in 5.7% (95% CI: 5.3,6.0) of 17 831 first diagnosed infections. Higher mortality was associated with lower recent CD4, no evidence of ART collection, high or unknown recent viral load (among those with ART evidence), and recent first HIV evidence, differentially by age. Vaccination was protective. The burden of comorbidities was high, and tuberculosis, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and hypertension were associated with higher mortality, more strongly in younger adults.

CONCLUSIONS: Mortality was strongly associated with suboptimal HIV control, and prevalence of these risk factors increased in later COVID-19 waves. It remains a public health priority to ensure PWH are on suppressive ART and vaccinated, and manage any disruptions in care that occurred during the pandemic. The diagnosis and management of comorbidities, including for tuberculosis, should be optimised.

Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2022

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NamemedRxiv

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