Prof Sabin raised the question of whether it was “really a surprise” that people with HIV would, on the whole, have a higher rate of some comorbidities, taking into account factors such as the risk of them getting other infections.
But she added: “[Current] evidence strongly suggests that amongst populations of people with HIV now, we now lose more years of life to smoking than we do to HIV itself.”
Moving onto the issue of coronavirus, Prof Sabin said there was evidence to support an association between HIV and poorer Covid outcomes, as well as two studies that reported a higher mortality risk in people with HIV, compared to the general population.
However, she added that no study to date had provided any reliable evidence that HIV was the cause of higher mortality, and described the coronavirus guidelines - measures such as hand washing, face coverings and social distancing - for people with HIV as “very similar” to those for the general population.
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