The risk of severe COVID-19 and mortality from COVID-19 in people living with HIV compared to individuals without HIV - a systematic review and meta-analysis of 1 268 676 individuals.
MetadataShow full item record
Research Purpose: Findings from existing studies have shown conflicting evidence concerning the risk of severe COVID-19 and death from COVID-19 in people living with HIV (PLHIV) compared to people without HIV. The aim of our review is to compare mortality, hospitalization, and the need for intensive care services due to COVID-19 between PLHIV and individuals without HIV based on data from the existing literature. Methods: A search in major databases of preprints was carried out and eligible studies were screened and selected. From each study, data on numbers of PLHIV and individuals without HIV were extracted. Study quality was assessed using the MethodologicAl STandard for Epidemiological Research (MASTER) scale. Data synthesis used a bias adjusted model where age and geographical subgroups were analysed. Results: From the 2757 records identified, 11 studies were included. The total participants were 1 268 676, of which 13 886 were PLHIV. Overall, the estimated effect of HIV on mortality suggested some worsening (OR 1.3, 95% CI: 0.9 - 2.0, I2 = 78.6%) with very weak evidence against the model hypothesis at this sample size. However, in individuals aged <60 years, the estimated effect on mortality suggested more worsening in PLHIV (OR 2.7, 95% CI: 1.1 -6.5, I2 = 95.7%) with strong evidence against the model hypothesis at this sample size. HIV was also associated with an estimated effect on hospitalization for COVID-19 that suggested worsening (OR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.3-2.1, I2 = 96.0%) with strong evidence against the model hypothesis at this sample size. Conclusion: People living with HIV have higher risk of death and hospitalisation from COVID-19, compared to individuals without HIV with the difference exaggerated in those younger than 60 years old. Our findings suggest that PLHIV are at higher risk than the general population and should be prioritized for vaccine coverage and monitoring if diagnosed with COVID-19.