This article is part of Infectious Disease Advisor’s In-Depth HIV coverage of the IDWeek 2020 meeting.

The prevalence of HIV among patients hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appears to be higher compared with the general population, suggesting an increased susceptibility to COVID-19 among people with HIV, according to research presented at IDWeek, held virtually from October 21 to 25, 2020.

To determine the prevalence of HIV in patients with COVID-19 and the relationship between people with HIV and higher COVID-19 mortality rates, researchers conducted a meta-analysis using PubMed, Scopus, OVID, Web of Science, and Cochrane Library databases, including grey literature from January 1 to June 15.

Of the 14 studies analyzed, 8 were in the United States, 3 in Spain, 1 in China, 1 in Italy, and 1 in Germany. Of the 144,795 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 592 included people with HIV.

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The pooled prevalence of HIV in patients with COVID-19 was 1.22% (95% CI, 0.61-2.43%), double the prevalence of 0.65% (95% CI, 0.48-0.89%) in the general population. The pooled HIV prevalence among patients with COVID-19 in the United States was 1.43% (95% CI, 0.98-2.07%), which was significantly higher than Spain’s prevalence of 0.26% (95% CI, 0.23-0.29%), but not significantly higher than China’s prevalence of 0.99% (95% CI, 0.25-3.85%).

The pooled mortality rate among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and HIV was 14.09% (95% CI, 5.78-30.50%), and the rate was highest in the Unites States compared with the other countries.

Findings suggest that people with HIV may have a higher susceptibility to COVID-19. While mortality rates are high, they “vary significantly across countries,” investigators concluded.


Ssentongo P, Heilbrunn ES, Ssentongo AE, et al. Prevalence of HIV in patients hospitalized for COVID-19 and associated mortality outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Presented at: IDWeek 2020; October 21-25, 2020. Poster 393.

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