What is it about?

Recently, the first case of HIV and SARS-CoV-2 infection was reported in the literature. With this letter, we proposed a hypothesis that could explain the interaction between HIV infection and the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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Why is it important?

Despite non-treated HIV patients could be more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, at the same time, lymphopenia HIV-related could protect them from severe clinical manifestation, and the lopinavir/ritonavir administration could be more useful for the above-hypothesized activities than for a potential and not yet confirmed direct anti-SARS-CoV-2 antiviral effect. Moreover, the clinical course of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients under chronic antiretroviral therapy for HIV without lymphopenia could be extremely relevant. As a consequence, further studies are urgently required to face this lack of data.

Perspectives

Understanding the interactions between the immune system, HIV and SARS-CoV-2 may be useful for developing new therapeutic strategies.

MD Antonio Romanelli
AOU San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi D’Aragona

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This page is a summary of: Could HIV infection alter the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infection? When less is better, Journal of Medical Virology, April 2020, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/jmv.25881.
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