49 cases of Covid-19 among HIV patients in Karnataka, 5 died

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Covid-19 has been highly prominent with people having different comorbid conditions, HIV infected patients contracting with Covid-19 was not much addressed during the pandemic.

In a data analysis done by certain sources, before December 1, which is widely known as World Aids Day, it was revealed that 49 HIV infected people contracted the Covid-19 infection, and five died in this comorbid condition.

The doctors said the HIV patients may have a higher chance of recovery as they are consistently subjected to antiretroviral therapy or ART, when comparing with HIV negative patients.

ASHA Foundation, an NGO working for the HIV patients revealed 12 of the patients have been infected with Covid-19 and have two deaths. The doctors had suggested timely CD4 checks and given the prescription of multivitamins along with their ongoing ART. Dr Glory Alexander, director of ASHA Foundation said, “Twelve of our patients contracted Covid and two died,” adding further that patients with ART and moderate CD4 count were responding positively against Covid-19.

The two deaths consisted of 48-year old who was late for the treatment procedure and also suffering from hypoxia and the second was 55-year-old having discordant response. Dr Glory stated, “He was my patient for 20 years and his CD4 count was always on the lower side. The other 10 patients aged between 25 and 65 fared well.”

The regular CD4 count ranges from 500 – 1,200 cells/mm3 in adults and a lower count is indicative of the immune system being impacted by HIV.

As many as one lakh HIV patients in Karnataka are on ART, according to Dr Ravi Kumar D N, presently the Regional Programme Officer for Karnataka AIDS Prevention Society. He said, “We can’t know their Covid status unless they inform us… Out of them, 49 tested positive for Covid-19 and five have died. Nearly 30,000 patients couldn’t be followed up for ART treatment. Till October, there have been 80,000 deaths. It was 79,863 six months ago and the rise isn’t significant compared to the pre-pandemic period.”

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