Title : Risk factors for mortality among HIV positive patients infected with COVID-19 in Johannesburg, 2020-2021
South Africa has one of the highest prevalences of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) globally. Since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, which causes Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), South Africa’s population has suffered from both high infection and mortality rates. Many studies have been conducted since the beginning of the pandemic investigating the correlation between HIV and COVID-19, however there is a paucity of data available in South Africa.
The aim of this study was to identify demographic and clinical risk factors for mortality in patients with both HIV and Covid-19 that were admitted into Helen Joseph Hospital (HJH) in Johannesburg, between 01 June 2020 – 31 December 2021.
The study was a retrospective case-control study using patient data from HJH in Johannesburg.
Risk factors associated with mortality that were assessed included advanced age, male sex and presence or absence of comorbidities. We compared the number of COVID-19 HIV co-infected (CHC) patients that died to the number of HIV positive patients without Covid-19 that lived, and separately compared the risk factors listed above to assess which of them drove mortality.
Our results showed no statistically significant evidence of risk factors contributing to mortality. We attribute this to a small sample size that does not accurately reflect the South African population.
We therefore disproved our initial hypothesis that CHC patients that were demised would have a higher prevalence of demographic and clinical risk factors than those that survived.
Further research is still needed to investigate risk factors for mortality in this co-infected group, using bigger sample sizes ideally from a range of facilities across the country.