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COVID-19 Information for HOPWA Grantees and Project Sponsors

March 19, 2020 Print ShareThis

POZ Magazine recently released an article What People With HIV Need to Know About the New Coronavirus detailing important information about COVID-19 for people living with HIV/AIDS. The article features information and recommendations from Dr. John Brooks from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

John Brooks, MD, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the risk of COVID-19 is likely greater for HIV-positive people who have a low CD4 count or do not have full viral suppression on antiretrovirals. Nonetheless, given how much remains unknown, he advised that all people with HIV take precautions. Brooks’ recommendations include ensuring at least a 30-day supply of medications, keeping up to date with flu and pneumonia vaccines, and establishing a plan for clinical care if isolated or quarantined. Finally, he advised, "Maintain a social network, but remotely—social contact helps us stay mentally healthy and fights boredom.

The article also highlights the following issues related to COVID-19 and HIV:

Compared with the general population, people with compromised immunity are at higher risk of developing more serious COVID-19 illness. The HIV population is aging, and nearly half are over 50. Those with low CD4 T-cell counts, indicating advanced immune suppression, are at greatest risk. People with HIV are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and may do so at a younger age. Certain HIV medications, especially older drugs, can cause neutropenia, or depletion of immune system white blood cells that fight infection.

In the coming days, the Office of HIV/AIDS Housing will issue guidance related to infectious disease preparedness and response for HOPWA grantees and project sponsors. In the meantime, HOPWA grantees and project sponsors should submit all questions related to COVID-19 to the Ask A Question (AAQ) portal. In Step 2 of the question submission process, select “HOPWA: Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS” from the “My question is related to” drop down list.

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