Risk factors for COVID-19 mortality among people living with HIV: A scoping review


People living with HIV (PLWH) are particularly vulnerable to worsened outcomes of COVID-19. Therefore, the purpose of this work was to provide a scoping review of the literature to assess the risk factors for COVID-19 mortality among PLWH. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR), searches were conducted in PubMed, Scopus, Global Health, and WHO Coronavirus Database. Articles were eligible for inclusion if they were in English, included PLWH who died after COVID-19 infection, and described risk factors for mortality. Results were descriptively synthesized and pooled thereafter. Study quality was assessed using the Joanna Brigg Institute’s critical appraisal tools. 20 studies were eligible for inclusion, with the pooled death rate being 11.7%. Age was a major risk factor, especially after 50 (23.2%) and after 70 (41.8%), and males had a death rate nearly double that of females. As total comorbidities increased, the death rate also greatly increased; among those with comorbidities, the highest fatality rates were those with cardiovascular disease (30.2%), chronic kidney disease (23.5%), obesity (22.4%), and diabetes (18.4%). Other risk factors for mortality among PLWH included having a Black racial background, being an injection drug user, being a smoker, and having a CD4 cell count below 200. There is a need to better study confounding factors, and to understand how vaccination influences mortality risk. Overall, the findings highlight a need to ensure that focus is placed on the varying demographics of PLWH amidst COVID-19 control efforts.


Varshney K, Ghosh P, Stiles H, Iriowen R




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • People who use drugs
    • Ethnoracial communities
    • General HIV+ population
  • Substance Use
    • Nonmedicinal drugs
    • Tobacco
  • Co-infections
    • Other
  • Co-morbidities
    • Cardiovascular
    • Other


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