Excess mortality risk from sepsis in patients with HIV – A meta-analysis

Fahim F. Pyarali, Roumen Iordanov, Ana Palacio, Leonardo Tamariz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Differences in HIV prevalence, access to antiretrovirals and ICU resources may result in wide variation in sepsis mortality in HIV patients. The aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis to quantify the excess risk of sepsis mortality in HIV patients. Materials and methods: A systematic review was performed using three databases. The systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria was used for the presumptive diagnosis of sepsis. We only included studies that stratified sepsis mortality by HIV serostatus. A meta-analysis was performed using random effects models, with subgroup analyses performed using country income, sepsis severity, and time periods. Results: 17 studies were included, containing 82,905 patients. Sepsis mortality was found to be 28% higher in the HIV positive patients (95% CI 1.13–1.46, p < .01). Relative risk of mortality was higher in patients treated in low-income countries (RR 1.43 in low-income vs. 1.29 in high-income countries). Mortality was more pronounced in HIV patients with severe sepsis (RR 1.32 in severe sepsis vs. RR 1.15 in sepsis). Conclusions: HIV increases the risk of sepsis mortality compared to seronegative individuals across all time periods and geographic areas. We note that this effect is more pronounced in patients with organ dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Critical Care
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • HIV complications
  • Meta-analysis
  • Sepsis
  • Septic shock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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