Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background: People living with HIV (PLWH) have been reported to have a higher risk of more severe COVID-19 disease and death. We assessed the ability of the Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine to elicit neutralizing activity against the Delta variant in PLWH relative to HIV-negative individuals. We also examined effects of HIV status and suppression on Delta neutralization response in SARS-CoV-2 - infected unvaccinated participants. Methods: We enrolled participants who were vaccinated through the SISONKE South African clinical trial of the Ad26.CoV2.S vaccine in healthcare workers (HCWs). PLWH in this group had well-controlled HIV infection. We also enrolled unvaccinated participants previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. Neutralization capacity was assessed by a live virus neutralization assay of the Delta variant. Results: Most Ad26.CoV2.S vaccinated HCWs were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2. In this group, Delta variant neutralization was 9-fold higher compared with the infected-only group and 26-fold higher relative to the vaccinated-only group. No decrease in Delta variant neutralization was observed in PLWH relative to HIV-negative participants. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 - infected, unvaccinated PLWH showed 7-fold lower neutralization and a higher frequency of nonresponders, with the highest frequency of nonresponders in people with HIV viremia. Vaccinated-only participants showed low neutralization capacity. Conclusions: The neutralization response of the Delta variant following Ad26.CoV2.S vaccination in PLWH with well-controlled HIV was not inferior to HIV-negative participants, irrespective of past SARS-CoV-2 infection. In SARS-CoV-2 - infected and nonvaccinated participants, HIV infection reduced the neutralization response to SARS-CoV-2, with the strongest reduction in HIV viremic individuals.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical Infectious Diseases

Publication Date





E857 - E864