Even though the threat of severe illness from COVID-19 for individuals with Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is unclear, these individuals have questions and worries that are associated with their risk. This pandemic is a developing and a quickly advancing situation, and the Center for Disease Control will provide credible details, as it becomes 0btainable.
Do individuals with HIV like me have a higher likelihood of getting infected with the coronavirus?
As of now, there is no precise information about the risk of getting infected with the virus in HIV-positive people. The older adults and those of any age level with preexisting conditions most probably have a higher risk of a serious disease, including those who are immunocompromised. The risk for HIV-positive individuals like you of getting very sick is highest in HIV patients who are not undergoing treatment and those with a decreased CD4 cell count.
You can also be at risk of getting infected seriously with COVID-19 depending on your medical condition and how old you are.
What Can I possibly do to protect myself from COVID-19?
At present, there is no cure to prevent or cure COVID-19, but the best solution to help prevent sickness is to keep yourself from getting exposed to the virus. People like you who are HIV-positive should take the necessary preventive measures, such as proper hygiene and social distancing, among others, so that you can be sure that you are not going to be contaminated. You should also remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating healthily, getting sufficient sleep, and finding ways to reduce your stress levels. Doing this strengthens your immune system to help you fight off the infection if you catch it.
If you are taking your medicines for HIV, you must proceed with your treatment and follow the recommendations of your doctor. This is key to keeping your immune system as healthy as it can be.
What must I do if I think that I am infected?
Contact your doctor immediately if you notice symptoms that are consistent with the disease. Ask him how you can avoid possibly passing the virus down to others. Also, learn more about COVID-19 by talking to a healthcare professional or by reading about it online.
Almost 50% of individuals in America who are diagnosed with HIV are 50 years old and above. These people also have higher percentages of specific underlying illnesses. Both of these factors can further increase your risk for acquiring more serious conditions if you get infected with the coronavirus, particularly if you HIV is advanced.
Here are some suggestions that people like you can do to prepare besides the usual recommendations given to the public.
- Make sure that you have prepared medications for at least 30 days’ supply.
- Consult your healthcare provider and be updated about the number of vaccinations that you have had, including seasonal flu vaccines and those for bacterial pneumonia. These vaccines may affect people with HIV like you.
- Create a plan for medical care if you need to stay home for two weeks or more if necessary. Try connecting to your doctor online via telemedicine. There are HIV websites that you can turn to that are of great help to you in terms of information. If this is not possible, try communicating with your provider by calling or texting him.
- When you have HIV, sometimes you are likely to need help more than the others, so receive that help from family, friends, and your community if it is given to you.
Can my HIV medicines be used to treat me if I am infected with COVID-19?
Some forms of HIV medications, like lopinavir-ritonavir, are evaluated for treating COVID-19. Outcomes from a clinical trial in China revealed that this medication did not decrease the number of viruses multiplying in patients admitted for COVID-19 and some type of respiratory illness. Until more information is gathered about the effects of HIV medications on the treatment of coronavirus, individuals like you should not make any changes to your prescribed medications to try and prevent or cure COVID-19.