Racial disparities in COVID-19 test positivity among people living with HIV in the United States

Jessica Y. Islam, Vithal Madhira, Jing Sun, Amy Olex, Nora Franceschini, Gregory Kirk, Rena Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aimed to compare COVID-19 positivity by HIV status and race/ethnicity using data from the U.S. National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C). Methods: The N3C cohort (≥ 18 years) includes patients with any encounter after 1/1/2020 with SARS-CoV-2 laboratory tests. Detailed electronic medical records are centralized and harmonized across health-care organizations (34 sites). COVID-19 diagnosis was defined by RT-PCR or antibody testing. HIV infection was defined by standard diagnostic codes within 2 years prior to COVID-19 testing. Descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression were utilized to compare COVID-19 positivity and HIV status by patient’s race/ethnicity. Results: Over 2.1 million patients were captured in the N3C as of 01/29/2021, of whom 372,716 (15%) were positive for COVID-19; 17,820 (0.7%) were PLWH of whom 2428 (13.6%) tested positive for COVID-19. COVID-19 positive PLWH were more likely to be 30+ years of age (90% vs. 70%; χ2p < 0.001), male (67% vs. 46%, χ2p < 0.001), and Black (44% vs. 15%, χ2p < 0.001) compared to HIV-negative patients. Compared to non-Hispanic/Latinx (NH)-White PLWH, NH-Black (aOR: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.37–1.86), Latinx (aOR: 2.17, 95% CI: 1.68–2.83), and NH-Asian (aOR: 2.18, 95% CI: 1.30–3.63) PLWH were more likely to have COVID-19 after adjustment for age, sex, and CharlsonDeyo comorbidity score. Conclusion: PLWH and minoritized communities, including NH-Black and Latinx or Hispanic adults, appear to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-466
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Immunosuppression
  • SARS-CoV-2 virus
  • racial ethnic disparities
  • social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Dermatology


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