Several studies have suggested that patients infected with the virus causing COVID-19, and the related coronavirus infections (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV) had good clinical outcomes, with almost all cases recovering fully. In some cases, patients were given an antiretroviral drug: lopinavir boosted with ritonavir (LPV/r). These studies were mostly carried out in HIV-negative individuals.
It is important to note that these studies using LPV/r had important limitations. The studies were small, timing, duration, and dosing for treatment were varied and most patients received co-interventions/co-treatments which may have contributed to the reported outcomes.
While the evidence of the benefit of using antiretrovirals to treat coronavirus infections is of very low certainty, serious side effects were rare. Among people living with HIV, the routine use of LPV/r as a treatment for HIV is associated with several side effects of moderate severity. However, as the duration of treatment in patients with coronavirus infections was generally limited to a few weeks, these occurrences can be expected to be low or less than that reported from routine use.
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