Associations between HIV infection and clinical spectrum of COVID-19: a population level analysis based on US National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) data

UMMS Affiliation

UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science

Publication Date


Document Type



Epidemiology | Infectious Disease | Translational Medical Research | Virus Diseases


BACKGROUND: Evidence of whether people living with HIV are at elevated risk of adverse COVID-19 outcomes is inconclusive. We aimed to investigate this association using the population-based National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) data in the USA.

METHODS: We included all adult (aged > /=18 years) COVID-19 cases with any health-care encounter from 54 clinical sites in the USA, with data being deposited into the N3C. The outcomes were COVID-19 disease severity, hospitalisation, and mortality. Encounters in the same health-care system beginning on or after January 1, 2018, were also included to provide information about pre-existing health conditions (eg, comorbidities). Logistic regression models were employed to estimate the association of HIV infection and HIV markers (CD4 cell count, viral load) with hospitalisation, mortality, and clinical severity of COVID-19 (multinomial). The models were initially adjusted for demographic characteristics, then subsequently adjusted for smoking, obesity, and a broad range of comorbidities. Interaction terms were added to assess moderation effects by demographic characteristics.

FINDINGS: In the harmonised N3C data release set from Jan 1, 2020, to May 8, 2021, there were 1 436 622 adult COVID-19 cases, of these, 13 170 individuals had HIV infection. A total of 26 130 COVID-19 related deaths occurred, with 445 among people with HIV. After adjusting for all the covariates, people with HIV had higher odds of COVID-19 death (adjusted odds ratio 1.29, 95% CI 1.16-1.44) and hospitalisation (1.20, 1.15-1.26), but lower odds of mild or moderate COVID-19 (0.61, 0.59-0.64) than people without HIV. Interaction terms revealed that the elevated odds were higher among older age groups, male, Black, African American, Hispanic, or Latinx adults. A lower CD4 cell count (< 200 cells per muL) was associated with all the adverse COVID-19 outcomes, while viral suppression was only associated with reduced hospitalisation.

INTERPRETATION: Given the COVID-19 pandemic's exacerbating effects on health inequities, public health and clinical communities must strengthen services and support to prevent aggravated COVID-19 outcomes among people with HIV, particularly for those with pronounced immunodeficiency. FUNDING: National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, USA.


COVID-19, HIV, UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



Yang X, Sun J, Patel RC, Zhang J, Guo S, Zheng Q, Olex AL, Olatosi B, Weissman SB, Islam JY, Chute CG, Haendel M, Kirk GD, Li X; National COVID Cohort Collaborative Consortium. Associations between HIV infection and clinical spectrum of COVID-19: a population level analysis based on US National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) data. Lancet HIV. 2021 Nov;8(11):e690-e700. doi: 10.1016/S2352-3018(21)00239-3. Epub 2021 Oct 13. PMID: 34655550; PMCID: PMC8514200. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The lancet. HIV


The UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UMCCTS), UL1TR001453, helped fund this study.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID