What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) is a very respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. It can lead to lower respiratory illness like pneumonia and bronchitis.
How is COVID-19 spread?
- Close contact with an infected persons (within 6 feet of you)
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected persons coughs or sneezes.
- Contact with infected surfaces or objects then touch your mouth, nose or eyes.
Is all PLHIV Community at risk?
- If you are on stable anti-retroviral therapy and have a normal CD4 T-cell count, you have little to no increased risk for becoming serious ill from COVID-19.
- If you have a low CD4 count- indicating a weekend immune system – you are at risk of becoming ill.
- Of those with a low CD4 count, older people and those with medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, renal disease or diabetes have an even high risk of becoming ill.
What are the symptoms?
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
There is possibility that symptoms may appear differently for those with compromised immune systems, i.e. symptoms may be fewer and milder in the early stages of the virus but the level of disease present may be more sever, so it is important that you and your doctor are aware and observant.
How can I prepare for COVID-19?
- Ensure you have an ample medications supply
- 30 days’ supply at all times
- Keep vaccinations up to date
- Influenza and pneumococcal
- Establish plans for clinical care if isolated or quarantined
- Telemedicine options
- Physician online portals
- Maintain a social network with family and friends remotely
- Social contact helps us stay mental health and fight boredom.
- Stall, even if they may not seem ill, it is important to not have contact with others who can spread the virus.
What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?
- Calls ahead before visiting your doctor – DO NOT go to the clinic or hospital without ahead first.
- Monitor your symptoms. Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening.
- Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms except to get medical care.
- Wear a face mask if you have symptoms.
- Cover your cough and sneezes.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.
- Avoid sharing personal household item.
If you are concerned you have symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have questions regarding this disease, contact your local health department.
“People living with HIV are resilient. We have worked together tireless for quality of life and better health outcomes and will continue to do so.