Three lessons for the COVID-19 response from pandemic HIV.

Publication Date: 
Friday, May 1, 2020
27. Hargreaves J, Davey C, Auerbach J, Blanchard J, Bond V, Bonell C, Burgess R, Busza J, Colbourn T, Cowan F, Doyle A, Hakim J, Hensen B, Hosseinipour M, Lin L, Johnson S, Masuka N, Mavhu W, Mugurungi O, Mukungunugwa S, Mushavi A, Phillips A, Platt L, Prost A, Ruzagira E, Seeley J, Taramusi I, Yekeye R.

The HIV pandemic provides lessons for the response to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: no vaccine is available for either and there are no licensed pharmaceuticals for COVID-19, just as there was not for HIV infection in the early years. Population behaviour will determine the pandemic trajectory of COVID-19,1 just as it did for HIV.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and HIV are, of course, different. Untreated HIV infection usually causes death; SARS-CoV-2 kills a minority. Behaviour changes that will slow transmission are different: sexual behaviour and needle sharing for HIV, physical proximity and hand washing for SARS-CoV-2. Early HIV cases doubled over 6–12 months,2 for SARS-CoV-2 the serial interval is a matter of days.1

Publisher: 
The Lancet HIV
MRC/UVRI Authors: