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Research letter
Ensuring retention in care for people living with HIV during the COVID-19 pandemic in Rome, Italy
  1. Massimo Giuliani1,
  2. Maria Gabriella Donà1,
  3. Antonia La Malfa2,
  4. Matilde S Pasquantonio2,
  5. Fulvia Pimpinelli3,
  6. Antonio Cristaudo1,
  7. Alessandra Latini1
  1. 1 STI/HIV Unit, San Gallicano Dermatological Institute IRCCS, Rome, Italy
  2. 2 Hospital Pharmacy, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute IRCCS, Rome, Italy
  3. 3 Clinical Pathology and Microbiology, San Gallicano Dermatological Institute IRCCS, Rome, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Massimo Giuliani, STI/HIV Unit, San Gallicano Dermatological Institute IRCCS, Rome 00144, Italy; massimo.giuliani{at}

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The new coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 has spread dramatically across Europe, impacting national healthcare systems, particularly in Spain, the UK, France and Italy. As of 30 August 2020, these countries accounted for 75.2% of total mortality for COVID-19 in Europe.1 The WHO estimates that in these top 4 European countries, there are approximately 550 000 people living with HIV (PLWH) who need routine clinical assistance.2 Recent observations suggest their access to care can be seriously hindered by shifts in clinical efforts of HIV specialists towards patients with COVID-19.3

Ensuring retention in care for PLWH is essential to maintain drug-associated viral suppression, effective physical monitoring, drug side-effect surveillance and reductions in HIV transmission and mortality.4 Moreover, during the COVID-19 crisis, maintaining HIV continuum appeared relevant also to monitor some common conditions among PLWH, such as diabetes, hypertension, immune-inflammation disorders and ageing,5 which …

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  • Handling editor Jason J Ong

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  • Contributors MG and AL conceived the idea for the report; MG and MGD performed the data collection and interpreted the results; MG, AL and MGD prepared the manuscript for publication; AL, AC and MG consulted the patients and collected clinical data; FP performed the serological tests; ALM and MSP conceived and cured the drug delivery from the hospital pharmacy. All authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.