Hidden in plain sight: Sex and gender in global Pandemics

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of review The global pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory virus coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has a male bias in mortality likely driven by both gender and sex-based differences between male and female individuals. This is consistent with sex and gender-based features of HIV infection and overlap between the two diseases will highlight potential mechanistic pathways of disease and guide research questions and policy interventions. In this review, the emerging findings from SARS-CoV-2 infection will be placed in the context of sex and gender research in the more mature HIV epidemic. Recent findings This review will focus on the new field of literature on prevention, immunopathogenesis and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 referencing relevant articles in HIV for context from a broader time period, consistent with the evolving understanding of sex and gender in HIV infection. Sex-specific features of epidemiology and immunopathogenesis reported in COVID-19 disease will be discussed and potential sex and genderspecific factors of relevance to prevention and treatment will be emphasized. Summary Multilayered impacts of sex and gender on HIV infection have illuminated pathways of disease and identified important goals for public health interventions. SARS-CoV-2 has strong evidence for a male bias in disease severity and exploring that difference will yield important insights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-53
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in HIV and AIDS
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Coronavirus disease-2019
  • Gender
  • Immunopathogenesis
  • Severe acute respiratory virus coronavirus 2
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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