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Letters from the Director: Interim Guidance related to COVID-19 and People with HIV

The outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome), is a rapidly evolving pandemic that is being closely monitored by the United States public health agencies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is overseeing the response and public guidance, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is leading the way with research to prevent, treat, and contain the spread of COVID-19.

As the coordinator of the NIH HIV/AIDS research portfolio, the Office of AIDS Research (OAR) is closely monitoring the latest information and data to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on people with HIV. The OAR Advisory Council (OARAC) oversees five critical working groups, collectively referred to as the HIV Antiretroviral (ARV) and Opportunistic Infections (OI) Guidelines Working Groups. The Working Groups have been working tirelessly to develop new interim guidance related to the United States COVID-19 outbreak for persons with HIV across the lifespan and their providers.

The Interim Guidance includes the following:

  • General recommendations on antiretroviral therapy (ART); clinical or laboratory monitoring visits related to HIV Care; and for people with HIV in Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP)
  • Specific Guidance for pregnancy and HIV, as well as for children with HIV
  • Guidance for people with HIV in self-isolation or quarantine due to SARS-CoV-2 exposure
  • Guidance for people with HIV who present with fever or respiratory symptoms
  • Guidance for managing people with HIV with diagnosis of COVID-19 when hospitalization is not necessary; when hospitalization is necessary; and for receiving investigational or off-label treatment for COVID-19
  • Additional guidance for HIV health providers

The HIV ARV and OI Guidelines Working Groups of OARAC will stay vigilant and continue to assess the latest information on COVID-19 to inform and update this Guidance.

For up-to-date guidance on COVID-19, visit CDC: Coronavirus (COVID-19). To get the latest research information from NIH, visit NIH: Coronavirus (COVD-19), and read the NIH Director’s Blog Structural Biology Points Way to Coronavirus Vaccine.

OAR applauds the outstanding and timely work by numerous colleagues and remains committed to improving the health of persons at risk for and living with HIV.

Maureen M. Goodenow, Ph.D.
Associate Director for AIDS Research and
Director, Office of AIDS Research
National Institutes of Health

This page last reviewed on November 3, 2022