COVID-19 clinical presentation among HIV-infected persons in China: A systematic review


Purpose of review: The impact of HIV infection on the natural history of COVID-19 is unknown, given the recency of the human spread of SARS-CoV-2 (CoV). We reviewed published case series/reports of CoV-HIV coinfections to clarify epidemiologic and clinical features in China, the first nation with pandemic experience.

Recent findings: Assuming that HIV-infected persons were at average risk of CoV infection in Wuhan, we estimated HIV-CoV coinfected persons to number 412 (95%CI: 381–442); our review encompassed an estimated 16.7% (69/412) of Wuhan. Men (many of whom reported sex with other men) accounted for 71.1% (54/76) of the cases reported in China. The median age was 48.0 years old (range 24–77, interquartile: 37–57). The median CD4+ cell count at the last clinical visit was 421 cells/μL; 83.0% had an undetectable viral load. Among 31 patients with clinical details reported, fatigue (41.9%), respiratory distress (41.9%), and gastrointestinal symptoms (26.7%) were most common. Among the 52 cases reporting COVID-19 clinical severity, 46.2% were severe, 44.2% mild, and 9.6% asymptomatic COVID-19. Late antiretroviral therapy (ART) was reported by 30.4% (7/23) among whom 57.1% (4/7) were confirmed as severe COVID-19. The case fatality rate was 9.1% (3/33). Severe disease and death were less common among persons who took ART prior to the COVID-19 diagnosis. Of 16 reported IL-6 results, 68.7% were within the normal range. Earlier use of ART was associated with a better COVID-19 prognosis with CoV-HIV co-infection reported from China through early 2021, but small sample sizes limit definitive conclusions.


Huang D, Zunong J, Li M, Li D, Gong J, Vermund SH, Hu Y




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Other


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