The following is a summary of “Association Between Human Immunodeficiency Virus Viremia and Compromised Neutralization of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Beta Variant,” published in the January 2023 issue of Infectious Diseases by Hwa, et al.

People with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (PWH) may experience poorer clinical results when infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (PWH). In Durban, South Africa, in 2019, during the second SARS-CoV-2 infection wave driven by the Beta (B.1.351) variety, researchers found anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in patients hospitalized with coronavirus illness.

A weekly blood sample was taken from 34 volunteers who had been diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection toantibody levels and the ability to neutralize different SARS-CoV-2 variants. 18 PWH were involved, and 11 of them were HIV positive.

Viremic PWH had significantly lower levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies than virologically suppressed PWH and HIV-negative individuals, and their ability to neutralize the Beta variant was 4.9 times lower. The Delta (B.1.617.2) variation was largely neutralized by the majority of HIV-negative subjects and antiretroviral therapy-suppressed PWH but not by the majority of viremic PWH. Immunoglobulin G and A seroconversion were more frequently observed in individuals with CD4 cell counts <500/μL. Additionally, in both PWH and HIV-negative people, there was a strong association between a surrogate viral neutralization test and live virus neutralization against the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 virus, but the correlation declined for the PWH-specific neutralization of the Beta variant.

A lower level of neutralization of the Beta variant was linked to HIV viremia. It demonstrated how crucial HIV suppression was to sustaining a powerful SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing response.