No evidence was found for an association between HIV-related factors and increased risk of acute kidney injury for people living with HIV hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a brief report published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Researchers compared clinical characteristics and outcomes associated with acute kidney injury by HIV serostatus and evaluated HIV-related factors for acute kidney injury in a retrospective cohort of 83 patients with HIV and 4151 patients without HIV. All patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 between March 10, 2020, and May 11, 2020.

Baseline characteristics among patients with HIV and those without were similar. No associations were found between HIV-1 RNA viral load, antiretroviral therapy

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class, tenofovir use, or transmission risk factors and acute kidney injury among patients with HIV hospitalized with COVID-19. The incidence of acute kidney injury among patients with HIV compared with those without HIV was not significantly different (54.2% vs 49.5%, P =.60). There was a higher incidence of stage 3 acute kidney injury among patients with HIV compared with those without HIV (28.9% vs 17.1%, P =.05), but there was no significant difference in the need for renal replacement therapy (22.2% vs 13.4%, P =.12). At the time of discharge, there was also no significant difference in renal recovery and renal replacement therapy dependence between the 2 groups.

The study was limited by the small sample size of people living with HIV.  According to the investigators, “[L]arger studies are needed further evaluate risk factors that may lead to more severe [acute kidney injury] in [people living with HIV] with COVID-19, including viral suppression, and to investigate long term renal effects in this population.”


Fisher MC, Fazzari MJ, Hanna DB, et al. Brief report: acute kidney injury in people living with HIV hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019: clinical characteristics and outcomes. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2021;87(5):1167-1172. doi:10.1097/QAI.0000000000002698