There is an urgent need to understand the nature of immune responses against SARS-CoV-2, to inform risk-mitigation strategies for people living with HIV (PLWH). Here we show that the majority of PLWH with ART suppressed HIV viral load, mount a detectable adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2. Humoral and SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses are comparable between HIV-positive and negative subjects and persist 5-7 months following predominately mild COVID-19 disease. T cell responses against Spike, Membrane and Nucleoprotein are the most prominent, with SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4 T cells outnumbering CD8 T cells. We further show that the overall magnitude of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell responses relates to the size of the naive CD4 T cell pool and the CD4:CD8 ratio in PLWH. These findings suggest that inadequate immune reconstitution on ART, could hinder immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 with implications for the individual management and vaccine effectiveness in PLWH.
Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.