SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that affect the respiratory tract and causes COVID-19. The virus belongs the to the family of viruses called “coronaviruses”, several of which can cause the common cold. The COVID-19 pandemic started in late 2019, and has led to the deaths of millions of people worldwide.  

The main symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and headaches. From time to time, it can cause other symptoms like runny nose, loss of sense of smell or taste, skin changes or diarrhoea. A small proportion of people with COVID-19 develop severe pneumonia and need hospital admission or even intensive care.  


Importance for PLHIV50+

It is likely that people living with HIV who are 50+ (PLHIV50+) are at a small increased risk of severe infection and needing hospital admission. However, more important risk factors for becoming sick with COVID-19 are age, underlying medical conditions (like obesity, heart disease, or diabetes).  

In Australia, the risk of getting COVID-19 in the community is generally low, unless there is community transmission. However, from time to time cases arise, and it is important to get tested if you have symptoms.