Biomedical Risk Factors for COVID-19 among People Living with HIV during the First Wave of the Pandemic

A Fast Track Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.

Authors:

Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan, MBA, MEd, FWACS
Roberto Ariel Abeldaño Zuñiga, MPH, PhD
Nourhan Moustafa Aly, MSc
Muhammad Abrar Yousaf, MSc
Passent Ellakany, PhD
Ifeoma Idigbe, MSc
Folake Barakat Lawal, PhD, FWACS, FMCDS
Zumama Khalid, MSc
Joanne Lusher, PhD
Jorma Virtanen, DDS, PhD, MScPH
Maha El Tantawi, PhD

Objective:

We assessed the associations between testing positive for COVID-19 and HIV viral load, and access to and adherence to antiretroviral therapy during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods:

We conducted a secondary analysis of data, where we extracted complete information for 904 participants self-identifying as HIV positive. The dataset encompassed the dependent variable (testing positive for COVID-19), independent variables (HIV viral load, access to a 90-day supply of antiretroviral drugs, adherence to antiretroviral therapy), and confounding variables (age, sex assigned at birth, living with HIV co-morbidities, and self-reported depression).

Results:

Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (AOR: 0.364; 95% CI: 0.231-0.574; p < .001) was significantly association with decreased odds of testing positive for COVID-19. We found no statistically significant associations between HIV viral load or access to a 90-day supply of antiretroviral drugs and testing positive for COVID-19.

Conclusions:

The results underscore the necessity for ongoing HIV treatment adherence counseling for individuals with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further research is warranted to elucidate the paradox wherein adherence to antiretroviral therapy was associated with testing positive for COVID-19, but HIV viral load was not.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
Article Link: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.10.6.3