Background: A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) causing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was detected at the end of 2019 in China. There are many COVID-19 studies in progress however, little is known about the course of COVID-19 in people living with HIV (PLWH). The aim of our study was to describe epidemiology and clinical characteristics of PLWH diagnosed with COVID-19 reported form Central and Eastern European Countries.
Methods: On-line survey was sent to Euroguidelines in Central and Eastern Europe (ECEE) Network Group. Analysis included all confirmed COVID-19 cases between March 11 and June 26 2020 among PLWH in 12 countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland , Romania, Russia, and Serbia.
Results: In total 34 cases were reported. The mean age of those patients was 42.7 years (IQR=35.8-48.5) and most of the patients were male (70.6% vs 29.4%). The mean CD4+ T-cell count prior COVID-19 diagnosis was 558 cells/mm3 (IQR=312-719) and HIV RNA viral load (VL) was undetectable in 18 of 34 (53%) cases, the data about most recent HIV RNA VL was not available in three cases (8,8%). Comorbidities were observed in 19 (55.9%) patients, mostly cardiovascular disease (27,8%), and in 10 (29.4%) patients had coinfection, mostly chronic hepatitis C (87.5%). The clinical course of COVID-19 was asymptomatic in 4 (12%) cases, mild disease without hospitalization was reported in 11 (32%) cases. Stable patients with respiratory and/or systemic symptoms have been documented in 14 (41%) cases; 5 (15%) patients were clinically unstable with respiratory failure. Full recovery was reported in 31 (91%) cases, two patients died. In one case the data was not available.
Conclusion: This study from 12 countries in Central and Eastern Europe region indicates no alarming signals of increased morbidity or mortality from COVID-19 among HIV-positive persons there is a need for further research.