COVID-19 and People with HIV

Content From: HIV.govUpdated: January 22, 20248 min read


This page has content that may be inconsistent with new CDC Respiratory Virus Guidance. The content of this page will be updated soon.
HIV and COVID-19. HIV Basics. CDC.

How Does COVID-19 Affect People with HIV?

We are still learning about COVID-19 and how it affects people with HIV. Nearly half of people in the United States with diagnosed HIV are ages 50 and older. People with HIV also have higher rates of certain underlying health conditions. Older age and certain medical conditions can make people more likely to get very sick with COVID-19. This is especially true for people with advanced HIV (including an AIDS diagnosis) or people with HIV who are not on treatment.

People who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19, and those who live with or visit them, should take precautions (including staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines) to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

Visit COVID-19 and HIV FAQs from CDC for the latest information.

Feeling sick? If you have symptoms, take a COVID-19 test immediately. If the test is positive, follow CDC’s steps to take when you are sick. Keep taking your HIV medicine as prescribed. This will help keep your immune system healthy. If you are not taking HIV medicine, talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits of getting on HIV treatment. Learn about other key times to get tested.

Need a test? You can buy COVID-19 self-tests online or in pharmacies and retail stores. Private health insurance may reimburse the cost of purchasing self-tests. Also, you can place an order through to receive four free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to their home. Need additional tests? Contact your local health department to find out about the availability of free tests in your area.

COVID-19 treatment. If you test positive and are more likely to get very sick, COVID-19 treatments are available that can reduce your chances of hospitalization and death. Contact a healthcare provider right away or visit a Test to Treat location to see if you’re eligible for treatment, even if your symptoms are mild right now. Test to Treat partners include some of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains. There is also the Home Test to Treat programExit Disclaimer that will give you access to free virtual care and treatment for COVID-19 and Flu, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No insurance or appointments needed. Don’t delay: COVID-19 treatment must be started within 5-7 days after you first develop symptoms to be effective. But be aware: some COVID-19 treatments can interact with antiretroviral therapy (ART) used to treat HIV. If you have HIV, let your healthcare provider know before starting COVID-19 treatment. For people without HIV who are taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV, there is no evidence that currently available medicine used to treat COVID-19 will interact with HIV PrEP.

COVID-19 Vaccines and People with HIV

Get vaccinated. CDC recommends everyone—including people with HIV—stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines for their age group. According to CDC, here’s what you need to know:

* People aged 12 years and older who have not previously gotten any COVID-19 vaccine doses and choose to get Novavax should get 2 doses of updated Novavax vaccine to be up to date.

Learn more about CDC's recommendations.

Vaccine safety. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and meet the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality and people with HIV were included in vaccine clinical trials.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines interfere with ART to treat HIV or PrEP to prevent HIV. Learn more about vaccine safety.

If you have questions about getting COVID-19 vaccine and whether it is right for you, talk to your health care provider.

Visit or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.


Long COVID is broadly defined as a wide range of signs, symptoms, and conditions that continue or develop after acute COVID-19 infection. This definition of Long COVID was developed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in collaboration with CDC and other partners.

There is no test that determines if your symptoms or condition is due to COVID-19. Long COVID is not one illness. Your healthcare provider considers a diagnosis of Long COVID based on your health history, including if you had a diagnosis of COVID-19 either by a positive test or by symptoms or exposure, as well as doing a health exam. The best way to prevent Long COVID is to protect yourself and others from getting a severe case of COVID-19, including by staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

Studies have shown that some groups of people may be affected more by Long COVID. This includes people who had underlying health conditions prior to COVID-19. Health inequities may also put some people from racial or ethnic minority groups and some people with disabilities at greater risk for developing Long COVID. However, scientists are still working to understand which people or groups of people are more likely to have Long COVID, and why. Some of this research is being coordinated by NIH’s RECOVER initiativeExit Disclaimer.

Learn more about Long COVID and its symptoms.

COVID-19 and HIV: Federal Resources

Below are resources about COVID-19 from agencies across the federal government for people with HIV and the health care providers and organizations who work with them. Information is regularly being updated as we learn more in this evolving situation.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

  • COVID-19 Information for Health Centers and Partners—This HRSA Health Center Program page provides the latest information on COVID-19 for health centers and Health Center Program partners. HRSA-funded health centers are a vital part of the nation’s response to HIV.
  • HRSA HAB COVID-19 Information—This HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau (HRSA HAB) page provides links to resources for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) recipients, subrecipients, and stakeholders who are responding to COVID-19.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • Health+ Long COVID Report—This report brings the experiences of people with Long COVID to the forefront in defining solutions.
  • National Research Action Plan on Long COVID—This report provides a unified overview of ongoing federal research on Long COVID, including over 75 research projects and hundreds of published articles. It also lays out a path for future inquiry.
  • Services and Supports for Longer-Term Impacts of COVID-19—This report outlines over 200 federally funded programs, supports and services, from housing and financial assistance programs to child care support, that may be available to those impacted by Long COVID.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Community Living

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

  • HUD HOPWA COVID-19 Guidance and Resources—This page offers COVID-19 guidance, webinars, and other COVID-19 resources for the grantees of HUD’s Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) Program.

U.S. Department of State