‘Misconceptions around HIV and Covid-19’

Fungai Lupande

Mash Central Bureau

THE National Aids Council (NAC) has expressed concern that stigma and discrimination has increased on people living with HIV/Aids due to unproven myths about their susceptibility to Covid-19.

This comes in the wake of misconceptions in some communities that only those with HIV/Aids can contract Covid-19.

According to NAC, other medical conditions actually pose more risks than HIV/Aids in relation to effects of Covid-19.


Addressing people living with disabilities and their representatives at a workshop in Mazowe recently, NAC provincial manager Mr Edgar Muzulu urged all people with underlying conditions to take extra precaution to reduce chances of contracting Covid-19.

“Some people are sending wrong messages that Covid-19 only affects people with HIV/Aids which is wrong because there is no scientific evidence to that effect,” he said.

“What is known is that people with underlying conditions that weaken the immune system, especially older people are at risk of contracting Covid-19.”

Mazowe District Aids Coordinator, Mrs Mercy Mudhombo, said evidence suggests that HIV/Aids is a less risk factor to Covid-19, compared to other health conditions.

“People living with HIV with certain conditions are among groups of people that are at risk. Current evidence suggests that HIV/Aids is a less risk factor than other health conditions,” she said.

“However, people living with HIV/Aids who are not on treatment and those not virally suppressed are more susceptible to Covid-19.

“Age is a risk factor, therefore, elderly people who are also living with HIV/Aids are at risk. A low CD4 count, recent opportunistic infections and high viral load clients are at high risk due to compromised immune systems.”