Three lessons for the COVID-19 response from pandemic HIV

James Hargreaves and Calum Davey

The HIV pandemic provides lessons for the response to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: no vaccine is available for either and there are no licensed pharmaceuticals for COVID-19, just as there was not for HIV infection in the early years. Population behaviour will determine the pandemic trajectory of COVID-19, just as it did for HIV.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and HIV are, of course, different. Untreated HIV infection usually causes death; SARS-CoV-2 kills a minority. Behaviour changes that will slow transmission are different: sexual behaviour and needle sharing for HIV, physical proximity and hand washing for SARS-CoV-2. Early HIV cases doubled over 6–12 months, for SARS-CoV-2 the serial interval is a matter of days.

May 6, 2020
Year of publication
2020
Resource types
Journal and research articles
Tags
COVID-19, behavior, health inequalities

Similar Resources

Prisoners and detainees worldwide have higher burdens of HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis than the communities from which they come. This disease burden among prisoners has been recognised since the early years of these inter-related pandemics.

In sub-Saharan Africa, young women ages 15-24 have more than twice the risk of acquiring HIV as their male counterparts. A growing body of epidemiological evidence suggests that the practice of "transactional sex" may contribute to this disparity.

Young women in their late teens and early twenties are especially susceptible to HIV infection in developing nations, as incidence of HIV is growing most rapidly among females aged 15–24 years.

Remarkable progress is being made on HIV treatment. Ahead of World AIDS Day, UNAIDS has launched a new report showing that access to treatment has risen significantly. In 2000, just 685 000 people living with HIV had access to antiretroviral therapy.

This issue of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society's "HIV Nursing Matters" online magazine focuses on vulnerable populations, including TB in prisons and intimate partner violence in the context of HIV.

This issue of the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society's "HIV Nursing Matters" online magazine focuses on key populations.

Gender-based power imbalances place women at significant risk for sexual violence, however, little research has examined this association among women living with HIV/AIDS.

A new study of the impact of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) escape mutations suggests that holes in the host immune repertoire contribute to poor disease outcomes, owing to a gradual deterioration of the host anti-HIV-1 immune response.