• COVID-19 and HIV: What You Need To Know

    Date: 3/23/2020 09:45:08 PM

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about HIV and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These FAQs address concerns related to COVID-19 and HIV and highlight how those with HIV can protect their health.

    COVID-19 is a respiratory infection that can spread from person to person. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. While most people who develop COVID-19 have mild symptoms, those at higher risk of becoming very sick include older adults and people with compromised immune system and/or serious underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease and diabetes.

    If you are HIV positive and come down with COVID-19 you are also at a high risk of becoming seriously ill. Affinity Health Plan encourages you to stay on your treatment and take preventive actions to protect your health and wellbeing. Those with HIV also have higher rates of chronic heart and lung disease. Like other respiratory infections among people with HIV, the risk of getting very sick is greatest for people with a low CD4 cell count and those not on HIV treatment.

    If you are taking medicine to treat (ART) or prevent (PrEP) HIV, you should stay on your treatment plan, continue taking your medicine consistently, and follow the advice of your healthcare provider. Some types of HIV medications are being evaluated in clinical trials to treat COVID-19, but there are no data available yet showing that these drugs are effective against COVID-19. If you develop symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19, you should talk to your healthcare provider about being evaluated. Please visit the COVID-19 website to learn more about how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19.

    CDC recommendations to help you protect yourself from COVID-19 include:

    • Having at least a 30-day supply of HIV medicine.
    • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
    • Regular hand-washing per CDC recommendation.
    • Avoiding large crowds and gatherings.
    • Avoiding non-essential travel.
    • Following recommendations made by local public health officials.
    • Establishing an online or by phone clinical care plan in order to communicate your healthcare providers.

    We encourage you to review the FAQs and share these resources with your colleagues, friends, and family.

    The response to COVID-19 has been a global top priority, including for us here at Affinity Health Plan. Together, we can make sure you have the information and resources you need to stay healthy and protected.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    www.cdc.gov/hiv

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