COVID-19 and people living with HIV

We will be updating this page as more information becomes available.

Monday 23 August

COVID-19 vaccination recommended for all people living with HIV


All people living with HIV, aged 12 years or older can now access a COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is the COVID-19 vaccine being used in New Zealand. Evidence shows that COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people living with HIV. 

The COVID-19 vaccine lowers the risk of infection and if an infection does occur, the vaccine will likely shorten the period of illness and reduce the severity of symptoms.  The vaccine may also reduce the chance of the virus spreading to others.

Each district health board (DHB) around New Zealand is managing the rollout of the vaccine in their area. For more information go to the COVID-19 website or contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453.  


People living with HIV may be at risk of poorer outcomes following COVID-19 infection


The current scientific consensus is that people living with HIV may be at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and of poorer outcomes following COVID-19. This is supported by existing cohort studies and case series. Some of the findings suggest that PLHIV may be at increased risk of hospitalisation or death as a result of COVID-19 infection. 

Different factors may underlie these associations, including the effects of HIV infection on the immune system, potential interplay between the two viruses, increased presence of comorbidities, advanced age, and other factors. It remains unclear to what extent any of these factors contribute to the level of risk.  

British HIV Association position statement emphasises that these risks are likely more pronounced in the cases of either uncontrolled HIV infection or advanced immunodeficiency, or in the context of additional comorbidities.  


Last updated Monday 23 August 2021

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