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AIIMS Study: HIV/AIDS-Infected People Less Susceptible To COVID-19

New Delhi: A study by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Delhi has found that the presence of antibodies, or seroprevalance, against coronavirus was found to be lower among HIV/AIDS-infected people.

The study was conducted on 164 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHAs) whose mean age was 41.2 years, recruited from the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) centre at AIIMS between September 1 and November 30, 2020.

The observational study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed, found antibody prevalence to be 14 per cent among those 164 people, reported ANI.

“A total of 164 patients were recruited in the study with mean age (+SD) of 41.2 (+15.4) years and 55 per cent male population. Positive serology against SARS CoV-2 was detected in 14 per cent of patients (95 per cent C 9.1-20.3 per cent). The seroprevalence of COVID-19 disease in PLHA was found to be lower than the general population,” as per the study.

There were 23 participants (14 per cent) who were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2. And most of them experienced minimal or no COVID-19 symptom.

When samples from HIV/AIDS-infected people were collected, the average seropositivity in Delhi was 25.7 per cent.

Also Read: Odisha Govt To Vaccinate All HIV-Positive People

One of the reasons for low prevalence could be that most of the patients were indoors and avoid social contact, and may not have actually contacted the disease, said the researchers.

“Another reason for this could be that these patients might not have generated antibodies against COVID-19 or may not have sustained it after getting infected,” says the study.

Despite seroprevalence — which helps in estimating the exact prevalence of a disease among the population – being found to be lower than the general population, PLHA should continue to practise all COVID-appropriate norms.