Recommendations for HIV carriers amid COVID-19 fears

Friday 20/03/2020 10:53

VGP – There is no specific information about the risk of COVID-19 in people with HIV, however people with HIV can also be at increased risk of getting very sick with COVID-19 based on their age and other medical conditions.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention stressed that there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent getting sick is to avoid exposure to the virus.

Accordingly, people with HIV should take everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating right, eating at least 8 hours of sleep, and reducing stress as much as possible.

If you have HIV and are taking your HIV medicine, it is important to continue your treatment and follow the advice of your health care provider. This is the best way to keep your immune system healthy.

As the world gritted its teeth and prepared for the worst from COVID-19, a bit of good news flew under the radar earlier this month: A man from London appears to be the second person in the world to be cured of HIV.

Some four decades after the HIV pandemic first began spreading in North America, an experimental stem cell treatment armed a formerly HIV-positive patient with a gene that helps guard against the virus. He has, tentatively, been cured. The news was first announced a year ago but was officially reported in the Lancet HIV with longer-term data on March 10.

It is a risky treatment and has thus far been used only in extraordinary circumstances. But the fact that there are now two cases where the virus has been eliminated, freeing patients from their daily drug cocktail—the first case was recorded in 2008—has provided hope that there may yet be an end to the AIDS crisis.

The announcement should have been cause for celebration, but amid another pandemic, hope has been muted—especially in light of worries among public health officials that immunocompromised people, including those living with HIV and AIDS, could be particularly at risk for complications from COVID-19.

Researchers have found that COVID-19 contains a mutation similar to HIV; both target the furin enzyme. An upcoming paper in the journal Antiviral Research suggests that targeting furin makes COVID-19 particularly infectious.

In Viet Nam, as of February 18, a total number of 210,200 alive HIV carriers have been recorded nationwide, of whom 97,100 have developed full-blown AIDS and 98,600 deaths of AIDS have been recorded, according to the General Statistics Office. 

By early March 20, 85 people tested positive for COVID-19 have been confirmed in Viet Nam, of whom 16 were successfully treated and discharged from hospital. 

By Thuy Dung


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