May 18, 2021
Curry’s Wellness Nurse Jane F. deLeon, PhD, RN, recently attended the virtual 16th Annual HIV Nursing Network Conference (May 7, 2021).
The goals of this conference were to review the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on people living with HIV. Jane reported back some important information she learned about this topic:
People in the U.S. with HIV who are adherent to effective HIV treatment have the same risk for COVID-19 as people who do not have HIV. Conversely, older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions, including weakened immune systems, might be at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 -related illness. The risk for people with HIV getting very sick with COVID-19 is greatest in those who have a low CD4 cell count, and those who are not on effective HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy). Isolation and fear, related to the pandemic, has led to decreased access to HIV prevention and HIV testing.
People with HIV are encouraged to follow the guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) including wearing a mask, practicing social/physical distancing, using proper hand hygiene and avoiding crowded places. In addition, those with HIV are strongly encouraged to get the COVID-19 vaccine(s) as well as the pneumonia and flu vaccines.
Continuing education of our staff is an important part of Curry’s mission to enable us to provide the most effective, up-to-date, and supportive service and care to our clients, especially during such a challenging time of COVID-19.