So many questions remain unanswered

We do not know the impact of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) on the progression of HIV infection and vice versa. We do not know if the infection is more serious in people living with HIV.

We can only infer information from our knowledge of other viral infections such as the seasonal flu caused by the influenza virus. People with stable HIV infection (ie normal CD4 count and undetectable viral load) do not appear to be more susceptible to infection with the influenza virus. However, influenza infection can be more serious in people with HIV who have low CD4 (or some other underlying disease).

Finally, the viral load can rise during a viral infection, especially if the patient is not on antiretroviral treatment. However, this information should be taken with caution as we know that the influenza virus and COVID-19 infections differ on several levels.

Certain drugs used to treat HIV appear to have in vitro activity on SARS-CoV-2. The clinical implications for the patient are unknown. The fight against the COVID-19 epidemic has recently moved into phase 2, which means that measures of social distancing are accentuated. It is in the interest of HIV-positive people to respect these measures and to favor teleworking when possible.

If you are infected with HIV, we advise you to follow the prevention measures very carefully.

If you have clinical symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) please call your doctor and report your travel history and symptoms. Do not go to the waiting room or the emergency room. Check the federal public service website for the latest news.


In early January, a new coronavirus was identified in China. The disease caused by this Coronavirus has been named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). It can cause breathing difficulties and lung abnormalities and can in the most severe cases lead to death.

For information on COVID-19, we advise you to call 0 800 130 000, toll-free number open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This device provides information on COVID-19 and advice if you have traveled to or around people who have traveled with the virus.

Are PLHIV vulnerable to Covid-19?

In the past few days, many people living with HIV have contacted Sida info Service to express their concerns.

To answer the questions that come up the most, Sida info Service asked his opinion to doctor Jade Ghosn, doctor in the service of infectious and tropical diseases of the Bichat-Claude Bernard hospital in Paris.

I am HIV positive with an undetectable viral load. What precautions should be taken ?

Dr. J. Ghosn: The same as for the general population. Do not kiss, do not shake hands, wash your hands with soap and water every hour, avoid mass gathering places. In case of respiratory symptoms with fever, call 15.

My CD4 level is less than 500 / mm3. Am I one of the people at risk?

Dr. J. Ghosn: CD4 <200 is considered “at risk”.

I was in the AIDS phase a long time ago. Am I one of the vulnerable people?

Dr. J. Ghosn: If your current viral load is undetectable and your current CD4 count is greater than 200, you are not one of the vulnerable.

I am treated with KALETRA. Does it protect me from coronavirus?

Dr. J. Ghosn: It cannot be said in the current state of knowledge.

Can I be contaminated during sexual practices?

Dr. J. Ghosn: Strictly speaking, no, but the virus may be present in saliva so close and close contact [by inhalation of droplets] may be at risk. A person can be contagious a day before the onset of symptoms.