Late presentation to care remains a major public health problem in Brazil, despite the country´s longstanding commitment to universal access to ART to all PLWH. The COVID-19 pandemic severely hit the country and further impacted the HIV care continuum, with worse disparities observed by gender and sexual orientation. By December 28th 2022, Brazil reported 10,493 and 14 mpox cases and deaths ranking second globall. Although mpox lethality is low, HIV-related immunosuppression may negatively impact mpox outcomes, increasing hospitalizations and fatalities. We aim to describe mpox hospitalization rates and explore the impact of HIV-infection on mpox-related hospitalizations and clinical outcomes.
Prospective, observational cohort study of individuals with confirmed mpox infection followed at the major mpox referral center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Demographic and clinical data including reasons for hospitalization were systematically collected. Chi-squared or Fisher’s exact tests for qualitative variables and the Moods median test for quantitative variables were used.
From June 12 to December 12, 2022, 402 participants had a laboratory-confirmed mpox diagnosis. Median age was 34 years, 365 (91%) were cisgender men, and 197 (49%) were PLWH. Overall, 39 (10%) participants were hospitalized due to mpox-related causes; 20 (51%) were PLWH. All PLWH with CD4 counts< 200 cells/mm3 required hospitalization. Compared to non-hospitalized PLWH, a higher proportion of hospitalized PLWH had concomitant opportunistic infections (4/20 [20%] vs. 1/177 [0.6%]; p< 0.001), were not virologically suppressed (7/20 [35.0%] vs. 22/177 [15.3%]; p=0.1) and were not on ART (4/20 [20%] vs. 15/177 [7.6%]; p=0.03). Among all hospitalized participants, PLWH were more frequently hospitalized due to severe proctitis than HIV-negative participants (12/20 [60%] vs. 5/19 [26.3%]; p=0.03), with no differences regarding hospitalizations for pain control (Table). PLWH accounted for all cases of hospitalized individuals who required intensive care support (n=4), had deep tissue involvement (n=3) and had a mpox related death (n=2).
Our findings suggest an association between worse outcomes in the HIV care continuum and mpox-related hospitalizations. Advanced immunosuppression (CD4< 200) contributed to more severe clinical presentations and death. Public health strategies to mitigate HIV late presentation and the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the HIV care continuum are urgently needed. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of mpox cases according to HIV and hospitalization status