Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), HIV & hepatitis C: What you need to know

CATIE (Canada), 17 March 2020

  • An HIV-positive person on effective treatment is not expected to be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19
  • A person with untreated HIV or a low CD4+ cell count may be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19
  • People with HIV or hepatitis C are more likely to have other conditions that carry a greater risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19

 

 

Update on COVID-19 for PLHIV

SAMESH, March 19, 2020

SAMESH, SHINE SA, and Thorne Harbour Health are encouraging people living with HIV (PLHIV) to take additional precautions in the face of the changing landscape around 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

We want to ensure the ongoing health and wellbeing of all PLHIV who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. This means minimising the risk of exposure to the virus.

While everyone is at risk of contracting COVID-19, the consequences of infection are more severe for some vulnerable groups. This includes PLHIV who are:

  • Aged over 60 years old
  • Living with a detectable viral load or a CD4 count below 500
  • Diabetic
  • Smokers
  • Living with hepatitis B or C
  • Living with a comorbidity such as heart or lung issues

Those PLHIV on treatment with an undetectable viral load (and no other significant health condition) are at no greater risk of serious health consequences due to COVID-19 than the general population. That being said, they should still take the advice of the health department in exercising precautions such as handwashing, working from home where possible, limiting time on public transport, and avoiding large groups or crowded areas.

Those PLHIV who fall into one of the vulnerable groups listed above should limit contact with others to avoid potential exposure to COVID-19.

If you are living with HIV and are concerned you might be at risk, you should:

  • Maintain regularly scheduled medical appointments, but consider asking your doctor about telehealth consultations
  • Ensure you have between 1-3 month supply of any medications you currently take
  • Avoid stockpiling medications beyond a 1-3 month supply as this could cause unnecessary shortages
  • Be wary of advice or articles in social media — do not modify the medications you currently take without first consulting your doctor
  • Contact your doctor about getting vaccinations for influenza and pneumococcal when available
  • Keep in touch with friends, colleagues, and family via phone calls and video chat — consider scheduling regular catch ups
  • Stay in touch – our organisations will continue to release more information and resources as the situation continues to evolve

This public health issue can be stressful, but our communities have a long history of staying informed and collective action to ensure we look after our health as well as the wellbeing of those around us. Let’s keep this legacy going as we look after ourselves and those around us

HIV life expectancy ‘near normal’ thanks to new drugs

BBC news, 11 May 2017

Young people on the latest HIV drugs now have near-normal life expectancy because of improvements in treatments, a new study in The Lancet suggests.

Twenty-year-olds who started antiretroviral therapy in 2010 are projected to live 10 years longer than those first using it in 1996, it found.

Doctors say that starting treatment early is crucial to achieve a long and healthy life.

Studies look at brain and cognitive changes in people with HIV as they age

 

nam/aidsmap, published: 14 March 2017

People with HIV often show persistent signs of cognitive impairment and abnormalities in brain structure despite suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART), but they do not appear to experience accelerated decline compared to HIV-negative people as they age, according to research presented at the 2017 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) last month in Seattle.

“Durban 2016: the changing narrative of HIV/AIDS” – free forum

SAMESH, 26/10/2016

Invites you to their upcoming forum, “Durban 2016: the changing narrative of HIV/AIDS”.

The forum is a fantastic opportunity to hear from guest speakers who attended the 21st International AIDS Forum 2016. They will discuss the current successes and challenges in their respective fields and their thoughts on the future of HIV/AIDS advocacy and research in Australia.

Free event.

Guest speakers include:

Darryl O’Donnell: AFAO CEO
Dr Jennifer Hoy: Key researcher for HIV & HIV-related illnesses
Brent Allan: Living Positive Victoria CEO
Enaam Oudih: Manager Multicultural Services RASA
Roxana Baratosy: SIN Representative

When: Thursday 17 November, 6 – 7.30pm

Where: 57 Hyde St, Adelaide SA 5000

RSVP: Monday 14 November 2016 via 7099 5300

Wine and cheese provided.

Please see attached flyer for full event information: samesh-forum-nov-17-2016-2

People living with HIV and access to health care in NSW: A Community Survey

Positive Life NSW, 2015

The NSW Ministry of Health (NSW MoH) requested Positive Life NSW (PLNSW) produce a discussion paper which explored the future service needs of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in NSW with complex care needs, in relation to HIV specialists and mainstream services.

The main lines of inquiry which PLNSW investigated were:

 Access to Service Provision – where PLHIV obtained their primary health care and why they preferred to use a particular service; (p7-8)

 Service Satisfaction – how satisfied PLHIV were with the services they received; (p7)

 Health Care Service Barriers – what concerns or difficulties PLHIV experienced when accessing health care services; (p15-17)

 PLHIV Criteria for Service Access – what were the considerations for accessing health care; (p14)

 Mainstream Service Barriers – if PLHIV experienced difficulties or challenges when referred to mainstream or specialist services, what they might be, and; (p19)

 Factors of Retention in Care – factors relating to the ability of PLHIV to remain engaged in treatment and care (p21).

Download report (PDF) here