Read about COVID-19 vaccine considerations for people with underlying medical conditions, including people with HIV.
If I Have HIV, Am I at Higher Risk of COVID-19?
We are still learning about COVID-19 and how it affects people with HIV. Based on limited evidence, we believe that people with HIV who are on effective treatment have the same risk for COVID-19 as people who do not have HIV.
Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at increased risk for severe illness. This includes people who have weakened immune systems. The risk for people with HIV getting very sick is greatest in:
People with a low CD4 cell count, and
People not on effective HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy or ART).
Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death.
The best way to prevent getting sick and to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 is to:
Limit your interactions with other people as much as possible.
Take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when you do interact with others.
If you have HIV and are taking your HIV medicine, it is important to continue your treatment, follow the advice of your health care provider, make sure that you have at least a 30-day supply of your medicines, and take everyday preventive actions to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19.
People with HIV should also continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating right, getting at least 8 hours of sleep, and reducing stress as much as possible. Staying healthy helps your immune system fight of infection should it occur.
If you start feeling sick and think you may have COVID-19, get in touch with your health care provider within 24 hours. If you don’t have a health care provider, contact your nearest community health center or health department. Do not delay seeking life-saving treatment or emergency care.
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)
CDC.gov/coronavirus —This site provides the latest public health and safety information on COVID-19 from CDC for consumers and the medical and health provider community.
COVID-19 and HIV—This page contains links to CDC resources on COVID-19 for people at risk for and with HIV, and for public health partners.
COVID-19 Vaccine Considerations for People with Underlying Medical Conditions—This page offers information to help people with certain medical conditions (including HIV) make an informed decision about receiving the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19: What People with HIV Should Know—This page answers frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the impact of COVID-19 on people with HIV.
HIV Self-Testing Guidance—This CDC guidance addresses the use of HIV self-testing programs to supplement the HIV prevention efforts of health departments and community-based organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If You Are Immunocompromised, Protect Yourself from COVID-19 —This page provides information for people with weakened immune systems on how to prevent COVID-19 and protect their health. It includes information for specific conditions.
Interim Guidance for Syringe Services Programs (SSPs)—This guidance describes actions for SSPs and public health authorities to support the health and well-being of those they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. SSPs provide a range of services to people with or at risk for HIV who inject drugs.
Medical Conditions Evidence Table—This table provides links to the scientific evidence used to update CDC’s list of underlying medical conditions that increase (or might increase) a person’s risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including HIV. It is regularly updated by CDC.
People with Certain Medical Conditions—This page provides links to information for people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions who are—or might be—at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including people who are immunocompromised (have a weakened immune system) from HIV with a low CD4 cell count or not on treatment.
PrEP During COVID-19—This CDC guidance addresses the provision of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) when facility-based services are disrupted and in-person patient-clinician contact is limited due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Public Health Activity Guidance—This document addresses protecting public health workers engaged in activities that require face-to-face interaction with clients, including programs for HIV and other infectious diseases.
Questions and Answers for People Who Use Drugs or Have Substance Use Disorder—This page provides COVID-19 information for people who use drugs or have substance use disorder, and medical professionals who work with them. It is regularly updated by CDC.
What to Know About Liver Disease and COVID-19—This page addresses the impact of COVID-19 on people with liver disease, including hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which are common among people with HIV.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
COVID-19: How to Help—This page provides information about how to volunteer and where to send donations.
COVID-19 Rumor Control—This page helps the public distinguish between COVID-19 rumors and facts. All Americans, including those with HIV, should seek trusted sources of information.
Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB)
FY 2020 CARES Act Funding for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Recipients—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through HRSA, awarded $90 million to help RHWAP recipients prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. This page provides the latest information for award recipients. View recipients.
HRSA HAB COVID-19 Information—This page provides links to resources for RWHAP recipients, subrecipients, and stakeholders who are responding to COVID-19. It includes audio and transcripts from HRSA HAB’s All Grant Recipient Conference Calls and Webinars.
HRSA.gov/coronavirus—This page provides COVID-19 information specific to all HRSA programs and grantees.
RWHAP COVID-19 FAQs—These FAQs were developed to assist RHWAP recipients, subrecipients, and stakeholders as they deliver critical services and assist local communities in response to COVID-19. This page is updated regularly.
Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Health Center Program
COVID-19 Information for Health Centers and Partners—This 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.
Interpersonal Violence (IPV) Toolkit and COVID-19 Resource Page—Futures Without Violence, a HRSA-funded National Training and Technical Assistance Partner, developed this toolkit to assist health centers in designing a comprehensive response to IPV and human trafficking. During COVID-19, increases in IPV have been reported across the US; there is a strong association between IPV and risks for HIV infection.
Indian Health Service (IHS)
IHS.gov/coronavirus—This web page provides Information specific to the federal response in Indian Country.
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (COVPN)—The CoVPN seeks to enroll thousands of volunteers in large-scale COVID-19 prevention clinical trials. It was formed by merging four long-standing NIAID-funded clinical trial networks, including three that target HIV and AIDS. (These networks will continue to perform clinical trials for HIV vaccine and prevention and other infectious diseases in addition to their new COVID roles.) Interested individuals can sign up to potentially take part in a current or future clinical trial.
Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and Persons with HIV—This interim guidance reviews special considerations for persons with HIV and their health care providers in the United States regarding COVID-19.
NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines—These Treatment Guidelines were developed to inform clinicians how to care for patients with COVID-19. These Guidelines will be updated as new information becomes available.
NIDA: Resources to Help Your Patients with Substance Use Disorders (SUD) During the COVID-19 Pandemic—This National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) page provides resources for medical professionals on SUD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the comorbidity of HIV and SUD, it may be of use to those who work with people with HIV.
NIDA: COVID-19—NIDA also developed this page of COVID-19 resources for researchers, recovery professionals, medical providers, and others.
NIH.gov/coronavirus—This page provides the latest news about COVID-19 research from NIH.
NLM: COVID-19—This National Library of Medicine (NLM) site provides links to clinical studies, journal articles, text mining collections, and other COVID-19 resources.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMHSA.gov/coronavirus—This site provides guidance and resources on the prevention and treatment of those with mental health and SUD as it relates to COVID-19.
SAMHSA: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak—This resource discusses what individuals may expect before, during, and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation, and how to care for one's behavioral health.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights
HHS OCR Bulletin on Civil Rights Laws and HIPAA Flexibilities that Apply During the COVID-19 Emergency—This Bulletin is focused on ensuring that covered entities (such as hospitals, clinics, and state health departments) do not unlawfully discriminate against people with disabilities when making decisions about their treatment during the COVID-19 public health emergency. It includes addressing the needs of people with HIV in emergency planning.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
HUD COVID-19 Resources and Fact Sheets—HUD has posted the FY 2020 allocations for the Office of Community Planning and Development's (CPD’s) formula programs, including Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) grantees, as well as CARES Act supplemental funding for HOPWA programs and others.
Using HOPWA Program Funds for Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response—This resource describes how HOPWA grantees and project sponsors may use HOPWA funds to prepare for and respond to COVID-19.
U.S. Department of State
PEPFAR’s HIV Response in the Context of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)—The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history. This resource outlines PEPFAR’s ongoing HIV response in the context of COVID-19.
Other Federal Resources
Telehealth.hhs.gov—This resource provides information for patients about telehealth and what to expect when using it, and links to tools and resources for providers.
HHS Newsroom: Secretary Azar Announces Historic Expansion of Telehealth Access to Combat COVID-19 —This news release discusses the steps the Administration has taken to expand Americans' access to telehealth services during the COVID-19 outbreak.