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COVID-19 Special In Brief Issue: April 2020


During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) pandemic, NEAETC remains committed to providing current information and guidance about the pandemic and its implications for people living with and at risk for HIV.  

We are also available to provide technical assistance and virtual training. Contact us at: 

Please note that NEAETC has also developed a COVID-19 Resources Page with a more extensive list of materials on COVID-19. We plan to maintain this page on the NEAETC website for as long as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, and to update the page frequently as new resources become available. 


Resources for People with HIV and Caregivers

COVID-19: What to Know About HIV and COVID-19 (CDC) – Web page in frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) format about COVID-19 for people with HIV. Persons with HIV are advised to:

  • Make sure they have at least a 30-day supply of their HIV medicine and any other medications or medical supplies needed to manage HIV.
  • Check with their healthcare provider to make sure that all their vaccinations are up to date, including vaccinations against seasonal influenza and bacterial pneumonia.
  • Establish a plan for clinical care if they have to stay at home for a couple of weeks.
  • If possible, try to establish a telemedicine link through their HIV care provider’s online portal. If that is unavailable, make arrangements to communicate with their provider by phone or text.
  • Make sure they can maintain a social network remotely, such as online, by phone, or by video chat. This will help ensure that they stay socially connected and mentally healthy during periods of social distancing.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating well, getting adequate rest, and reducing stress as much as possible.
  • If they become sick, stay in touch by phone or email with friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, and others who can help them.

COVID-19 Information for People Living with HIV
(California Office of AIDS Research) – Single-page fact sheet for consumers in FAQ format that presents information concerning why people with HIV are at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19 and how they can protect themselves from infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19).

What You Can do if You are at Higher Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19 – This fact sheet provides information for persons at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including those who are immunocompromised due to conditions such as poorly controlled HIV or AIDS. 

Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) – This fact sheet describes what people may expect before, during, and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation, and how to care for one’s behavioral health during these experiences. 

Advice for Caregivers (CDC) – This resource is for people who are caring for someone with COVID-19 at home or in other non-healthcare settings.  It includes guidance on:

  • providing support and covering basic needs;
  • watching for warning signs that indicate medical attention is needed;
  • protecting oneself when caring for someone who is sick, including limiting contact, eating in separate rooms or areas, avoiding sharing personal items, wearing a cloth face cover or gloves, washing hands, and cleaning and disinfecting one’s home, washing and drying laundry, and tracking one’s own health; and
  • when it is safe for people with diagnosed COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms to end home isolation.

Resources for Healthcare Providers and Others

Dear Colleagues Letter on COVID-19 and People with HIV, March 20 – Letter from CDC’s Dr. Eugene McCray that provides basic background on COVID-19 and HIV and reviews the agency’s recommendations to help people with HIV protect themselves from COVID-19. 

Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and Persons with HIV (HHS) – Intended for healthcare providers and persons with HIV in the U.S., this document includes:

  • general information and guidance on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and HIV-related clinical and laboratory monitoring visits applicable to all persons with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • specific guidance regarding persons with HIV who are in opioid treatment programs, pregnant women with HIV, and children with HIV;
  • guidance regarding self-isolation, quarantine, evaluation, and care of persons with HIV who are exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or who develop fever and respiratory symptoms consistent with COVID-19; and
  • guidance for the medical management of persons with HIV who develop COVID-19, including home care, hospital care, and possible treatment with investigational or off-label drugs for COVID-19. 

The document also provides guidance for HIV clinicians about:

  • ensuring that persons with HIV have adequate supplies of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) and other medications during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • assessing their patients’ needs for additional assistance for food, housing, transportation, and childcare to help ensure that patients have what they need to continue to engage in medical care and continue ART;
  • recognizing that social distancing and isolation during the pandemic may exacerbate mental health and substance use issues of some patients; and
  • considering phone calls and other telehealth options for routine health visits and for triaging visits for patients who are ill.  

Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (HRSA Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program) – Resource page to support the work of Ryan White Program recipients, subrecipients, and stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Resources are organized into the following topic areas:

  • CARES Act funding
  • providing HIV care and client services during emergencies
  • AIDS Drug Assistance Programs
  • utilizing telehealth
  • resources and oversight
  • funding opportunities, reporting requirements, and upcoming events
  • travel guidance
  • grants management 

COVID-19:  Special Considerations for People with HIV (Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association) – Fact sheet for clinicians and public health officials that includes guidance on social distancing, office visits, prescription drug refills, HIV viral load monitoring, and viral load testing. 

Coronavirus, COVID-19, and Considerations for People Living with HIV and LGBTQIA+ People (The Fenway Institute) – Brief report that provides extensive information about COVID-19 for people with HIV, LGBTQIA+ people, their loved ones, and the providers who serve them. 

COVID-19 Resources for HIV Providers (AIDS Education and Training Center Program, National Coordinating Resource Center) – Resource page for HIV providers seeking current COVID-19 information. 

Interim Guidance on Handling Non-COVID-19 Public Health Activities that Require Face-to-Face Interaction with Clients in the Clinic and Field in the Current COVID-19 Pandemic (CDC) – Activities covered in this document include prevention and control programs for HIV, TB, STDs, and other infectious diseases that require outbreak or contact investigation, home visits, or partner services, and non-infectious disease-specific programs – such as syringe services programs or occupational health activities. Disease-specific recommendations for people with HIV, hepatitis C, TB, and STDs are included in an appendix. 

Updates for HRSA’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Recipients on COVID-19 Conference Call – Audio recording of a March 26 call in which HRSA and HAB leadership provide RWHAP recipients with information about COVID-19, answer some frequently asked questions from participants, and discuss flexibilities recipients have available during this time. 

Using HOPWA Program Funds for Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response – This resource describes how Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) grantees and project sponsors may use HOPWA funds to prepare for and respond to infectious diseases such as COVID-19.


COVID-19 Web Pages for the New England States

For your convenience, we are also providing links below to the main COVID-19 state government pages for the six New England States.  These pages generally provide updates on testing and the number of reported cases; advisories and emergency orders issued in response to the pandemic; other response activities; and additional resources, such as frequently-asked-questions and links to relevant state services.

The Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center
includes extensive U.S. state and county data on COVID-19, accessible through an interactive U.S. map that is updated daily with the latest information.  Users can access the state and county data for New England and elsewhere by using a pull-down menu to select a particular state or county, or by clicking on the desired location on the interactive map.  County data are compiled into tables that include the number of persons tested for COVID-19, confirmed cases, deaths, and the case fatality rate. There is extensive additional information for each county, including:

  • percentage and type of health insurance coverage, with breakdowns by age;
  • population, with breakdowns by race/ethnicity and the percentage of the population aged 65 and older;
  • number of staffed hospital beds, licensed beds, and ICU beds; and
  • any emergency orders in the area, including the date these were issued.