COVID-19 and HIV: Who is at risk?

As we are all surrounded by coronavirus messaging, Bruce House had decided that adding to this flood would not offer a benefit.  Instead we have chosen to maintain links to basic resources on our web site and only share things we feel are particularly useful or may have been lost in the sheer volume of information.


People at higher risk

The Public Health Agency of Canada has prepared a fact sheet  on who may be at higher risk from COVID-19.  While anyone can get the illness, people with certain medical conditions are at higher risk, including:

  • heart disease
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • lung disease
  • diabetes
  • cancer,
  • people with weakened immune systems from a medical condition or treatment, such as chemotherapy.

We also know that older adults are more at risk.


What about people living with HIV?

According to CATIE, people living with HIV and on effective treatment are not at higher risk.

However, the simple statement “on effective treatment” is loaded with complex realities.  To be “on effective treatment” requires being linked to medical care and staying in care.  That in turn requires having a place to live, enough food to eat, and the ability to travel to medical appointments and pharmacies.

The work of Bruce House includes recognizing—and as best we can bridging—the inequities which can prevent many people living with HIV from maintaining their health while they may also be faced with other medical, social, and personal challenges.


What about people living with Hepatitis-C?

While Hepatitis-C is not considered a risk factor for COVID-19, we do know that many people living with Hepatitis-C and HIV also live with one or more of the other risk factors. Anyone living with Hepatitis-C should discuss potential risk with their health care provider.