Clinical features of, and risk factors for, severe or fatal COVID-19 among people living with HIV admitted to hospital: analysis of data from the WHO Global Clinical Platform of COVID-19

Elsevier, The Lancet HIV, Volume 9, July 2022
Bertagnolio S., Thwin S.S., Silva R., Nagarajan S., Jassat W., Fowler R. et al.

Background: WHO has established a Global Clinical Platform for the clinical characterisation of COVID-19 among hospitalised individuals. We assessed whether people living with HIV hospitalised with COVID-19 had increased odds of severe presentation and of in-hospital mortality compared with individuals who were HIV-negative and associated risk factors. Methods: Between Jan 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, anonymised individual-level data from 338 566 patients in 38 countries were reported to WHO. Using the Platform pooled dataset, we performed descriptive statistics and regression analyses to compare outcomes in the two populations and identify risk factors. Findings: Of 197 479 patients reporting HIV status, 16 955 (8·6%) were people living with HIV. 16 283 (96.0%) of the 16 955 people living with HIV were from Africa; 10 603 (62·9%) were female and 6271 (37·1%) were male; the mean age was 45·5 years (SD 13·7); 6339 (38·3%) were admitted to hospital with severe illness; and 3913 (24·3%) died in hospital. Of the 10 166 people living with HIV with known antiretroviral therapy (ART) status, 9302 (91·5%) were on ART. Compared with individuals without HIV, people living with HIV had 15% increased odds of severe presentation with COVID-19 (aOR 1·15, 95% CI 1·10–1·20) and were 38% more likely to die in hospital (aHR 1·38, 1·34–1·41). Among people living with HIV, male sex, age 45–75 years, and having chronic cardiac disease or hypertension increased the odds of severe COVID-19; male sex, age older than 18 years, having diabetes, hypertension, malignancy, tuberculosis, or chronic kidney disease increased the risk of in-hospital mortality. The use of ART or viral load suppression were associated with a reduced risk of poor outcomes; however, HIV infection remained a risk factor for severity and mortality regardless of ART and viral load suppression status. Interpretation: In this sample of hospitalised people contributing data to the WHO Global Clinical Platform for COVID-19, HIV was an independent risk factor for both severe COVID-19 at admission and in-hospital mortality. These findings have informed WHO immunisation policy that prioritises vaccination for people living with HIV. As the results mostly reflect the data contribution from Africa, this analysis will be updated as more data from other regions become available. Funding: None. Translation: For the French translation of the abstract see Supplementary Materials section.