OBJECTIVES: We describe COVID-19 mortality among people with and without HIV during the first wave of the pandemic in England.
METHODS: National surveillance data on adults (aged ≥ 15 years) with diagnosed HIV resident in England were linked to national COVID-19 mortality surveillance data (2 March 2020-16 June 2020); HIV clinicians verified linked cases and provided information on the circumstances of death. We present COVID-19 mortality rates by HIV status, using negative binomial regression to assess the association between HIV and mortality, adjusting for gender, age and ethnicity.
RESULTS: Overall, 99 people with HIV, including 61 of black ethnicity, died of/with COVID-19 (107/100 000) compared with 49 483 people without HIV (109/100 000). Compared to people without HIV, higher COVID-19 mortality rates were observed in people with HIV of black (188 vs. 122/100 000) and Asian (131 vs. 77.0/100 000) ethnicity, and in both younger (15-59 years: 58.3 vs. 10.2/100 000) and older (≥ 60 years: 434 vs. 355/100 000) people. After adjustment for demographic factors, people with HIV had a higher COVID-19 mortality risk than those without (2.18; 95% CI: 1.76-2.70). Most people with HIV who died of/with COVID-19 had suppressed HIV viraemia (91%) and at least one comorbidity reported to be associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes (87%).
CONCLUSIONS: In the first wave of the pandemic in England, COVID-19 mortality among people with HIV was low, but was higher than in those without HIV, after controlling for demographic factors. This supports the strategy of prioritizing COVID-19 vaccination for people with HIV and strongly encouraging its uptake, especially in those of black and Asian ethnicity.