As nurses and other members of healthcare teams, we have important obligations to our  patients, families, networks and communities as we respond to COVID-19. We are responsible for r aising awareness about COVID-19 without increasing fear while sharing accurate information about who is at risk and how the virus spreads. We must speak out against misinformation and stigmatizing behaviors and statements. 

Below are reliable sources of information for educating the public. We hope you will use these to address the concerns of your patients, learn about specific workplace resources and adopt common sense tips that can be shared with others. We will continue to update you as information becomes available.

Relevant Resources
  • The CDC website is a great evidence-based site that is updated daily: Click here
  • This presentation by the CDC's Chief Medical Officer, John Brooks, MD, was delivered at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) on March 6 and includes an excellent overview with HIV specific information (start at minute 14.30-30.00): Click here
  • The American Nurses Association has a dedicated website page with COVID-19 information for nurses: Click here
  • The University of Washington, Seattle developed a COVID-19 resource website that includes a useful series of clinical protocols for triage, testing and communications for clinicians and clinical sites: Click here
  • Although this is a new pathogen and there is still much to learn about it, it is currently thought that people living with HIV who are otherwise healthy with competent immune systems (CD4 and UDVL) will be at no greater risk than similar HIV negative persons. However, as people age with HIV or develop co-morbidities such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or other chronic underlying conditions, special attention is warranted. We stand with our gerontology nurse colleagues in advocating for protecting our most vulnerable patients - older people with underlying conditions. Visit the American Academy of Nursing website for more information: Click here
  • This pandemic can be triggering for both providers and patients who lived through the early days of the HIV epidemic. Stigma stemming from misinformation about COVID-19 can be addressed by healthcare providers. For helpful guidelines: Click here
  • Mental health concerns for patients, friends and families can be exacerbated during this stressful time. Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 or the social and economic consequences can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Helping ourselves and others to cope through this is part of our responsibility. For more information: Click here
  • Johns Hopkins University continually updates its open access dashboard on the epidemiology of the global pandemic: Click here
Tips for HIV providers and patients
  • Ensure patients have at least a 30-day supply of medication
  • Establish a plan for providers and their patients to stay in touch, including telemedicine options (even as simple as FaceTime), for questions and in case of isolation or quarantine
  • Ask patients if they have a thermometer. Make sure they know how to use and read it
  • Encourage patients to refrain from large public gatherings. Remind them to contact their care team by phone or email rather than going to the ER or urgent care center if they experience flu-like symptoms or mild illness
  • Advise patients to maintain a good social network and stay in touch with family and friends through FaceTime and messaging, especially if they are isolated or quarantined
  • Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19
  • Pay attention to current guidance from your state and local health departments about cases in your area, local public health response and testing. Consider following your state or local (city or county) health department on social media as many are using those platforms to communicate with residents.
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