The Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ HIV Community
Following latest research, the World Health Organization (WHO) is recommending that people living with HIV be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines. In the global fight to stem infections, members of the Irvine LGBTQ+ community undergoing HIV treatment are advised that the benefits of vaccination radically outweigh any slim risks.
As research into COVID-19 is published, there have been clearer signs of the risks for the HIV community. Significant statistics include that 23.1% of people living with HIV who were admitted to the hospital with Covid-19 eventually died. People living with HIV also had a 30% greater chance of developing severe or fatal symptoms.
How the LGBTQ+ Community Can Reduce the Threat of COVID-19
To address the concerns of many people living with HIV, the CDC has published guidance for maintaining good health while undergoing HIV treatment. Among the most important steps is getting fully vaccinated as soon as possible. A weakened immune system could, however, make people with HIV more vulnerable even after vaccination.
Therefore, mask wearing, social distancing and good hygiene should still play a vital role. As always, maintaining good health through diet, sleep and HIV medicine are key to a strong immune system.
Additional Factors Affect Health Risks for the HIV Community
While people living with HIV may feel disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, other factors are at play.Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine and University of Michigan – working with limited data – found that factors like old age, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and other comorbidities were more significant factors in the hospitalization of those living with HIV.
Nonetheless, the pandemic has put serious strain on many within the LGBTQ+ community. Economic uncertainty, mental health struggles and social isolation are familiar issues for many, and the pandemic has only exacerbated these issues. Thankfully, events like the upcoming AIDS Walk Orange County offers the opportunity for individuals and sponsors to support the much-needed services offered at Radiant Health Centers.
How the LGBTQ+ HIV Community Can Make Use of Local Resources
Radiant Health Centers continues to support the LGBTQ+ HIV community, with staff and volunteers dedicated to providing support and care. People living with HIV are encouraged to make use of the many medical and social services available. These services include free HIV testing, counseling, treatment for HIV, STDs, STIs and Hepatitis C, sexual health services and HIV awareness. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many people hard, but the Orange County LGBTQ+ HIV community has continued to show resilience and togetherness throughout.
Health and Social Services Care for the LGBTQ+ Community
At Radiant Health Centers, we serve the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in Irvine, Santa Ana and all of Orange County with care and compassion. Our trained staff provides HIV and STD testing, HIV prevention treatment, family planning, social services and mental health counseling. If you would like to make an appointment, call us at (949) 809-5700.