No matter your HIV status - everyone should do the following:

  • Regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 40 seconds is preferred
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an alternative when hand washing is not easily accessible (consider having a moisturizer to help reduce skin dryness)
  • Wear gloves when you go out and handle things – remember to wash these or leave them out for a few days before touching them and touching yourself after
  • Avoid touching your face and if not possible consider a mask where appropriate
  • Avoid people who have been travelling in the last 14 days or who are currently unwell
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve and consider having tissues just in case
  • Clean & disinfect things like counter tops, door handles, and phones

HIV & COVID-19 Quick Facts

  • If you are on effective HIV treatment you are not expected to be at a higher risk of getting coronavirus or developing more severe symptoms (undetectable viral load and CD4+ >400) – important to continue taking it as prescribed
  • For individuals not on treatment or not virally suppressed and with a low CD4+ count there may be a higher risk of severe symptoms
  • People living with HIV (on effective treatment) who have acquired coronavirus had similar outcomes to people who were HIV-negative
  • Currently no medication has been proven effective in high quality studies for the prevention or treatment of coronavirus. There have been some that show potential promise but it is too early to make any claims at this stage.
  • Transmission is through respiratory air droplets from coughing or sneezing, touching or close contact with others, and touching a surface with virus on it
  • If you feel unwell – including cough, fever, or difficulty breathing – call Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000. For severe symptoms call 9-1-1.

More COVID-19 Support

If you have no longer have private insurance through work there may be a few options to help. Visit or HIV Treatment Hub for private and public drug plan support options. Our video below with Pharmacist Drew includes some information as well. For people living with HIV who will not be able to work for a longer duration you may qualify for support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP):

This can certainly be a difficult time for many. Stress and worry are natural feelings at a time like this and for those with mental health conditions they may potentially worsen. The PrEP Clinic sponsors FREE one-on-one online video counselling sessions with social worker and experienced counselor Randall. If you would like a free appointment you can do from home, download our free app “The PrEP Clinic” and select “Mental Wellness Counselling Appointment”. We have lots of convenient appointment availability – sometimes even on the same day!

Check out CATIE‘s two highly informative webinars below:

HIV and COVID-19: Public health, clinical and frontline community perspectives

Coping with COVID-19: Insight from the front lines of HIV, hepatitis C and harm reduction

A Trial of Lopinavir–Ritonavir in Adults Hospitalized with Severe COVID-19

Trial of chloroquine to treat COVID-19 stopped early due to heart complications

Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial

Gilbert Centre:
Toronto People With AIDS Foundation:
MAX Ottawa:
AIDS Committee of Ottawa | Le comité du sida d’Ottawa:
List of Organizations:

Check out Coronavirus Mythbusters from the World Health Organzaiton for some fact-checking:


Avert. Coronoavirus (C-19) and HIV. Retrieved from:

Blanco JL, et al. COVID-19 in patients with HIV: clinical case series. April 12, 2020.

CATIE. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), HIV and hepatitis C: What you need to know. Retrieved from:

World Health Organization. Q&A on COVID-19, HIV and antiretrovirals. Retrieved from: