For now, no evidence to show that people with HIV are at greater risk of coronavirus
This is according to the statement issued by British HIV Association (Bhiva), which represents medical professionals working in HIV in the UK. People who live with weakened or compromised immune systems may be experiencing an extra level of anxiety and uncertainty at this time.
I would like to think that …hopefully…the statement below also applies to Malawi, although note that, Malawi probably has a lot more people who are immunocompromised.
“There is no evidence so far to determine whether people with HIV are at greater risk of Covid-19 acquisition or severe disease. The main mortality risk factors to date are older age and co-morbidities, including renal disease and diabetes. Some groups with relative immune suppression, such as the very young and pregnant women, do not appear to be at higher risk of complications, although numbers are very small.
Public Health England advise that clinicians should be alert to the possibility of atypical presentations in patients who are immunocompromised.
Key elements of advice in order to limit the spread of a number of viral infections (including coronavirus) are to practise good hand and respiratory hygiene, such as washing your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, particularly before touching your face, preparing and eating food, and covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing into tissues or a flexed elbow.
The government probably has a number of issues to contend with in terms of a response plan but they should also ensure the supply of ARVs so that in the wake of this global emergency, persons on ARVs shouldn’t have interrupted drug supply. Surely there must also be some solace (or possible supply concerns) in knowing that ARVs are tested to see if they can help in the treatment of Covid-19.
People, people, people—it is important to stay informed with credible information don’t believe every WhatsApp message saying that a Prophet in Nigeria has a cure or that somehow Africans are “immune”—this is all fake news that is very dangerous. First and foremost with prevention ensure you are up to date with reliable and credible information.