According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox can have “devastating results” on severely immunocompromised patients, such as those with untreated HIV.
New research published Wednesday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examined clinical case data from 57 patients hospitalized with complications from monkeypox and found that 82% had HIV infection.
“Monkeypox and HIV have collided with tragic effects,” CDC Monkeypox Incident Commander Dr. Jonathan Mermin said in an agency press release. “Today’s report reminds us all that access to monkeypox and HIV prevention and treatment is important for people’s lives and for public health.
In the report, 95% of patients were male and most (68%) were black.
Seventeen of the patients were hospitalized in the intensive care unit and 12 of the patients died.
Of the patients who died, “monkeypox was a cause of death or a contributing factor in five of these cases, six deaths remain under investigation to determine whether monkeypox was a causative or contributing factor, and in one death monkeypox was not neither a cause nor a contributing factor”. factor,” the report said.
Healthcare providers are advised to start monkeypox therapies, such as Tpoxx, early, even before test results and before symptoms worsen.
Tpoxx, or tecovirimat, is a drug used to treat monkeypox that can be taken intravenously or as an oral pill. Although not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration specifically for use against monkeypox, the CDC has made the drug available from the Strategic National Stockpile.
Patients with HIV and monkeypox should also be on antiretroviral therapy, the researchers said in the report. ART removes the amount of HIV virus in a person’s body to undetectable levels.
The researchers write that almost a quarter of the monkeypox cases in this cohort were in people who were homeless and encouraged “collaboration with homeless service providers”.
“To end this epidemic, we urgently need healthcare providers, community partners and public health partners to come together to close the remaining gaps and ensure no one is left behind. “, says the press release from the CDC.
There are 28,061 probable or confirmed cases of monkeypox and six deaths reported in the United States as of Tuesday, according to the CDC.
Death from monkeypox is extremely rare and is more likely to occur in babies and pregnant women, in addition to people with weakened immune systems, such as HIV.