Monkeypox can have “devastating results” in immunocompromised patients, such as those with untreated HIV, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New research published Wednesday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report analyzed clinical case data from 57 patients hospitalized with complications from the monkey, and found that 82 percent had HIV infection.
“Monkeypox and HIV have collided with tragic consequences,” CDC Monkeypox Incident Commander Dr. Jonathan Mermin said in an agency news release. “Today’s report reminds us that access to HIV prevention and treatment is important to people’s lives and public health.”
In the report, 95% of the patients were male and the majority (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, “in five of those cases where monkeypox was the cause of death or a contributing factor, six deaths remain under investigation to determine whether monkeypox was the cause or contributing factor, and in one death, monkeypox was not the cause or contributing factor.” », says the report.
Health care providers are also urged to start monkey treatments early, such as Tpoxx, before test results are available and before symptoms worsen.
Tpoxx or tecovirimat is a medicine used to treat monkeypox that can be taken internally or as an oral pill. Although not specifically approved for use against monkeypox by the US Food and Drug Administration, the CDC has made the drug available from the Strategic National Stockpile.
Patients with HIV and HIV should also receive antiretroviral treatment, the researchers said in the report. ART removes the amount of HIV virus in a person’s body to undetectable levels.
The researchers wrote that nearly a quarter of the monkey cases in this cohort were in homeless people and encouraged “collaboration with homeless service providers.”
“To end this outbreak, we urgently need healthcare providers, community-based partners, and public health partners to come together to close remaining gaps and leave no one behind,” the CDC news release said.
According to the CDC, there are 28,061 probable or confirmed monkeypox cases and six deaths in the US as of Tuesday.
Death from monkeypox is extremely rare and is more likely to occur among children and pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems such as HIV.