Does living with HIV put you at risk for COVID-19?

We believe people living with HIV who are virally suppressed/undetectable are not at greater risk for COVID-19. It’s a new disease, so everyone should take precautions.

What we recommend for PLHIV?

  • Ensure you have a plan to restrict your movements and social interactions, and if required, to stay home for 14 days or more.
  • Ensure ample medication supply (at least 1-3 month supply of all your medication);
  • Keep up to date on vaccinations for influenza and pneumococcal;
  • Establish a plan for clinical care if isolated/quarantined by using a phone, physician online portals or social media;
  • Maintain social contact but remotely—it helps us stay mentally healthy and fights boredom.
  • Keep yourself in the best possible health. Get the recommended amount of sleep each day, eat a healthy diet, and keep up regular physical activity.

The most vulnerable populations are people over 60 years of age, and also those who have underlying chronic conditions such as lung and heart disease and/or uncontrolled diabetes and/or hypertension.


1) Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

2) Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Try to stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting sick.
  • Avoid shaking hands and hugging people.

3) Stay at home if you are sick

  • Stay home if you are sick and try to stay away from other people. You should not go to work or school, attend social gatherings, or take public transportation.

4) Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

5) Clean and disinfect

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

6) Take care of your HIV and yourself

  • Ensure that you have at least a 30-day supply of all your medications
  • Establish a plan for care if you are isolated or quarantined
  • Ask your medical provider if you should delay routine medical appointments if you are well
  • Think about storing extra water and non-perishable food items at home, so you’ll have some if you can’t go to the grocery store.
  • Avoid busy places, events, and crowds as much as possible.

The virus spreads from an infected person to another through:

  1. The air, via droplets from coughing or sneezing;
  2. Close personal contact, such as shaking hands;
  3. Touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes


20 Iec Covid19 Hiv Factsheet A3 Landscape Updated March.31.2020