The new and ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by a new strain of coronavirus, has resulted in extraordinary measures around the world to contain, slow the pace, or reduce the impact of the virus.

But there is a lot of misinformation circulating about what the new COVID-19 virus is, how it’s transmitted, how to prevent it and how to treat it. Our new section talks you through everything you need to know about COVID-19 and the impact on people living with HIV.

People living with HIV who have a compromised immune system should be extra cautious to prevent coronavirus infection, as they may be at an even higher risk of getting seriously ill. This includes people with:

  • a low CD4 count (<350 copies/cell),
  • a high viral load,
  • or a recent opportunistic infection, for example, tuberculosis (TB)
  • a current AIDS-defining illness.

People living with HIV are also more likely to get respiratory infections when their HIV is not well managed.

For this reason it’s very important to take your antiretroviral treatment as prescribed – always, but especially during this time. Talk to your health care provider if you are currently not taking treatment or if you are struggling with adherence.

Like in people not living with HIV, older people living with HIV and those living with underlying health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and obesity, should also be vigilant.