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1.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 2022 Jul 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963247

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Disproportionate risks of COVID-19 in congregate settings including long-term care homes, retirement homes, and shelters both affect and are affected by SARS-CoV-2 infections among facility-staff. In cities across Canada, there has been a consistent trend of geographic clustering of COVID-19 cases. However, there remain limited data on how COVID-19 among facility-staff reflect urban neighbourhood disparities, particularly stratified by the social and structural determinants of community-level transmission. OBJECTIVE: To compare the concentration of cumulative cases by geography and social/structural determinants across three mutually exclusive subgroups in the Greater Toronto Area (population 7.1 million): community, facility-staff, and health-care workers (HCW) in other settings. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective, observational study using surveillance data on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases (January 23 to December 13, 2020; prior to vaccination roll-out). We derived neighbourhood-level social/structural determinants from census data, and generated Lorenz curves, Gini coefficients, and Hoover index to visualize and quantify inequalities in cases. RESULTS: The hardest-hit neighbourhoods (comprising 20% of the population) accounted for 53.9% of community cases, 48.6% of facility-staff cases, and 42.3% of other HCW cases. Compared with other HCW, cases in facility-staff more closely reflected the distribution of community cases. Cases in facility-staff reflected greater social and structural inequalities (larger Gini coefficients) than other HCW across all determinants. Facility-staff cases were also more likely than community cases to be concentrated in lower income neighbourhoods (Gini 0.24[0.15-0.38] vs 0.14[0.08-0.21] with lower household density (Gini 0.23[0.17-0.29] vs 0.17[0.12-0.22]) and with a greater proportion working in other essential services (Gini 0.29 [0.21-0.40], 0.22[0.17-0.28]). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 cases among facility-staff largely reflects neighbourhood-level heterogeneity and disparities; even more so than cases in other HCW. Findings signal the importance of interventions prioritized and tailored to home geographies of facility-staff in addition to workplace measures, including prioritization and reach of vaccination at home (neighbourhood-level) and at work.

2.
LGBT Health ; 2022 Jun 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908718

ABSTRACT

Purpose: This study examined differences in self-reported physical violence and psychological distress among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) sexual minority men (SMM) before and during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (2019 vs. 2020). Methods: We used data from 1127 AAPI SMM who completed the 2019 (August 2019-December 2019) and 2020 (August 2020-January 2021) cycles of the American Men's Internet Survey (AMIS). We assessed differences in experiencing physical violence and serious psychological distress by year of survey completion. We used Poisson regression with robust variance estimation to examine whether physical violence was associated with serious psychological distress before and during COVID-19. Multivariate analyses adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics and the interaction between year and violence. Results: A greater percentage of AAPI SMM had serious psychological distress in 2020 during the pandemic relative to 2019 before the pandemic (56.6% vs. 35.64%, p < 0.001). AAPI SMM who experienced physical violence in the last 6 months were more likely to experience serious psychological distress than those who never experienced physical violence. The association between violence and psychological distress among AAPI SMM was not significantly different before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Conclusions: Violence against AAPI SMM in the United States is widespread. Although we did not find significant differences in exposure to physical violence among AAPI SMM before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in serious psychological distress during the pandemic among AAPI SMM may indicate heightened need of mental health services.

3.
PLoS Med ; 19(3): e1003940, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833506

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Optimizing services to facilitate engagement and retention in care of people living with HIV (PLWH) on antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) is critical to decrease HIV-related morbidity and mortality and HIV transmission. We systematically reviewed the literature for the effectiveness of implementation strategies to reestablish and subsequently retain clinical contact, improve viral load suppression, and reduce mortality among patients who had been lost to follow-up (LTFU) from HIV services. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We searched 7 databases (PubMed, Cochrane, ERIC, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Web of Science, and the WHO regional databases) and 3 conference abstract archives (CROI, IAC, and IAS) to find randomized trials and observational studies published through 13 April 2020. Eligible studies included those involving children and adults who were diagnosed with HIV, had initiated ART, and were subsequently lost to care and that reported at least one review outcome (return to care, retention, viral suppression, or mortality). Data were extracted by 2 reviewers, with discrepancies resolved by a third. We characterized reengagement strategies according to how, where, and by whom tracing was conducted. We explored effects, first, among all categorized as LTFU from the HIV program (reengagement program effect) and second among those found to be alive and out of care (reengagement contact outcome). We used random-effect models for meta-analysis and conducted subgroup analyses to explore heterogeneity. Searches yielded 4,244 titles, resulting in 37 included studies (6 randomized trials and 31 observational studies). In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (N = 16), tracing most frequently involved identification of LTFU from the electronic medical record (EMR) and paper records followed by a combination of telephone calls and field tracing (including home visits), by a team of outreach workers within 3 months of becoming LTFU (N = 7), with few incorporating additional strategies to support reengagement beyond contact (N = 2). In high-income countries (HICs) (N = 21 studies), LTFU were similarly identified through EMR systems, at times matched with other public health records (N = 4), followed by telephone calls and letters sent by mail or email and conducted by outreach specialist teams. Home visits were less common (N = 7) than in LMICs, and additional reengagement support was similarly infrequent (N = 5). Overall, reengagement programs were able to return 39% (95% CI: 31% to 47%) of all patients who were characterized as LTFU (n = 29). Reengagement contact resulted in 58% (95% CI: 51% to 65%) return among those found to be alive and out of care (N = 17). In 9 studies that had a control condition, the return was higher among those in the reengagement intervention group than the standard of care group (RR: 1.20 (95% CI: 1.08 to 1.32, P < 0.001). There were insufficient data to generate pooled estimates of retention, viral suppression, or mortality after the return. CONCLUSIONS: While the types of interventions are markedly heterogeneity, reengagement interventions increase return to care. HIV programs should consider investing in systems to better characterize LTFU to identify those who are alive and out of care, and further research on the optimum time to initiate reengagement efforts after missed visits and how to best support sustained reengagement could improve efficiency and effectiveness.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Lost to Follow-Up , Adult , Child , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Income , Viral Load , World Health Organization
4.
CMAJ ; 194(6): E195-E204, 2022 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686132

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding inequalities in SARS-CoV-2 transmission associated with the social determinants of health could help the development of effective mitigation strategies that are responsive to local transmission dynamics. This study aims to quantify social determinants of geographic concentration of SARS-CoV-2 cases across 16 census metropolitan areas (hereafter, cities) in 4 Canadian provinces, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. METHODS: We used surveillance data on confirmed SARS-CoV-2 cases and census data for social determinants at the level of the dissemination area (DA). We calculated Gini coefficients to determine the overall geographic heterogeneity of confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 in each city, and calculated Gini covariance coefficients to determine each city's heterogeneity by each social determinant (income, education, housing density and proportions of visible minorities, recent immigrants and essential workers). We visualized heterogeneity using Lorenz (concentration) curves. RESULTS: We observed geographic concentration of SARS-CoV-2 cases in cities, as half of the cumulative cases were concentrated in DAs containing 21%-35% of their population, with the greatest geographic heterogeneity in Ontario cities (Gini coefficients 0.32-0.47), followed by British Columbia (0.23-0.36), Manitoba (0.32) and Quebec (0.28-0.37). Cases were disproportionately concentrated in areas with lower income and educational attainment, and in areas with a higher proportion of visible minorities, recent immigrants, high-density housing and essential workers. Although a consistent feature across cities was concentration by the proportion of visible minorities, the magnitude of concentration by social determinant varied across cities. INTERPRETATION: Geographic concentration of SARS-CoV-2 cases was observed in all of the included cities, but the pattern by social determinants varied. Geographically prioritized allocation of resources and services should be tailored to the local drivers of inequalities in transmission in response to the resurgence of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Demography/statistics & numerical data , Social Determinants of Health/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/economics , Canada/epidemiology , Cities/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Demography/economics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health/economics , Socioeconomic Factors
5.
Mult Scler Relat Disord ; 58: 103509, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637911

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To report clinical characteristics and outcomes of people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) who developed COVID-19 infection in Toronto, Canada. METHODS: Descriptive, retrospective, single-center study that included all known PwMS at the St. Michael's Hospital MS Clinic who had PCR-confirmed COVID-19 infection between March 2020 and May 2021. RESULTS: Of 7000 PwMS in our clinic, 80 (1.1%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Fifty-four (67.5%) were on disease-modifying therapy (DMT) without over-representation of any single treatment. Seventy-one patients (88.8%) had mild symptoms, but nine (11.3%) were hospitalized and one 70-year-old male patient not on treatment died. Of those hospitalized, one-third were treated with ocrelizumab. CONCLUSION: In Toronto, PwMS did not appear to have higher prevalence of COVID-19 infection compared to the general population, but disease severity may be affected by DMT use. Our findings add to the accumulating global data regarding COVID-19 infection in PwMS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Humans , Male , Multiple Sclerosis/complications , Multiple Sclerosis/drug therapy , Multiple Sclerosis/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
6.
CMAJ ; 193(32): E1261-E1276, 2021 08 16.
Article in French | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538242

ABSTRACT

CONTEXTE: Optimiser la réponse de la santé publique pour diminuer le fardeau de la COVID-19 nécessite la caractérisation de l'hétérogénéité du risque posé par la maladie à l'échelle de la population. Cependant, l'hétérogénéité du dépistage du SRAS-CoV-2 peut fausser les estimations selon le modèle d'étude analytique utilisé. Notre objectif était d'explorer les biais collisionneurs dans le cadre d'une vaste étude portant sur les déterminants de la maladie et d'évaluer les déterminants individuels, environnementaux et sociaux du dépistage et du diagnostic du SRAS-CoV-2 parmi les résidents de l'Ontario, au Canada. MÉTHODES: Nous avons exploré la présence potentielle de biais collisionneurs et caractérisé les déterminants individuels, environnementaux et sociaux de l'obtention d'un test de dépistage et d'un résultat positif à la présence de l'infection au SRAS-CoV-2 à l'aide d'analyses transversales parmi les 14,7 millions de personnes vivant dans la collectivité en Ontario, au Canada. Parmi les personnes ayant obtenu un diagnostic, nous avons utilisé des études analytiques distinctes afin de comparer les prédicteurs pour les personnes d'obtenir un résultat de test de dépistage positif plutôt que négatif, pour les personnes symptomatiques d'obtenir un résultat de test de dépistage positif plutôt que négatif et pour les personnes d'obtenir un résultat de test de dépistage positif plutôt que de ne pas obtenir un résultat positif (c.-à-d., obtenir un résultat de test de dépistage négatif ou ne pas obtenir de test de dépistage). Nos analyses comprennent des tests de dépistage réalisés entre le 1er mars et le 20 juin 2020. RÉSULTATS: Sur 14 695 579 personnes, nous avons constaté que 758 691 d'entre elles ont passé un test de dépistage du SRAS-CoV-2, parmi lesquelles 25 030 (3,3 %) ont obtenu un résultat positif. Plus la probabilité d'obtenir un test de dépistage s'éloignait de zéro, plus la variabilité généralement observée dans la probabilité d'un diagnostic était grande parmi les modèles d'études analytiques, particulièrement en ce qui a trait aux facteurs individuels. Nous avons constaté que la variabilité dans l'obtention d'un test de dépistage était moins importante en fonction des déterminants sociaux dans l'ensemble des études analytiques. Les facteurs tels que le fait d'habiter dans une région ayant une plus haute densité des ménages (rapport de cotes corrigé 1,86; intervalle de confiance [IC] à 95 % 1,75­1,98), une plus grande proportion de travailleurs essentiels (rapport de cotes corrigé 1,58; IC à 95 % 1,48­1,69), une population atteignant un plus faible niveau de scolarité (rapport de cotes corrigé 1,33; IC à 95 % 1,26­1,41) et une plus grande proportion d'immigrants récents (rapport de cotes corrigé 1,10; IC à 95 % 1,05­1,15), étaient systématiquement corrélés à une probabilité plus importante d'obtenir un diagnostic de SRAS-CoV-2, peu importe le modèle d'étude analytique employé. INTERPRÉTATION: Lorsque la capacité de dépister est limitée, nos résultats suggèrent que les facteurs de risque peuvent être estimés plus adéquatement en utilisant des comparateurs populationnels plutôt que des comparateurs de résultat négatif au test de dépistage. Optimiser la lutte contre la COVID-19 nécessite des investissements dans des interventions structurelles déployées de façon suffisante et adaptées à l'hétérogénéité des déterminants sociaux du risque, dont le surpeuplement des ménages, l'occupation professionnelle et le racisme structurel.

7.
Ann Epidemiol ; 65: 84-92, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525672

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Inequities in the burden of COVID-19 were observed early in Canada and around the world, suggesting economically marginalized communities faced disproportionate risks. However, there has been limited systematic assessment of how heterogeneity in risks has evolved in large urban centers over time. PURPOSE: To address this gap, we quantified the magnitude of risk heterogeneity in Toronto, Ontario from January to November 2020 using a retrospective, population-based observational study using surveillance data. METHODS: We generated epidemic curves by social determinants of health (SDOH) and crude Lorenz curves by neighbourhoods to visualize inequities in the distribution of COVID-19 and estimated Gini coefficients. We examined the correlation between SDOH using Pearson-correlation coefficients. RESULTS: Gini coefficient of cumulative cases by population size was 0.41 (95% confidence interval [CI]:0.36-0.47) and estimated for: household income (0.20, 95%CI: 0.14-0.28); visible minority (0.21, 95%CI:0.16-0.28); recent immigration (0.12, 95%CI:0.09-0.16); suitable housing (0.21, 95%CI:0.14-0.30); multigenerational households (0.19, 95%CI:0.15-0.23); and essential workers (0.28, 95%CI:0.23-0.34). CONCLUSIONS: There was rapid epidemiologic transition from higher- to lower-income neighborhoods with Lorenz curve transitioning from below to above the line of equality across SDOH. Moving forward necessitates integrating programs and policies addressing socioeconomic inequities and structural racism into COVID-19 prevention and vaccination programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Geography , Humans , Ontario/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
9.
J Urban Health ; 98(4): 538-550, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432606

ABSTRACT

The Ontario Integrated Supervised Injection Services cohort in Toronto, Canada (OiSIS-Toronto) is an open prospective cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID). OiSIS-Toronto was established to evaluate the impacts of supervised consumption services (SCS) integrated within three community health agencies on health status and service use. The cohort includes PWID who do and do not use SCS, recruited via self-referral, snowball sampling, and community/street outreach. From 5 November 2018 to 19 March 2020, we enrolled 701 eligible PWID aged 18+ who lived in Toronto. Participants complete interviewer-administered questionnaires at baseline and semi-annually thereafter and are asked to consent to linkages with provincial healthcare administrative databases (90.2% consented; of whom 82.4% were successfully linked) and SCS client databases. At baseline, 86.5% of participants (64.0% cisgender men, median ([IQR] age= 39 [33-49]) had used SCS in the previous 6 months, of whom most (69.7%) used SCS for <75% of their injections. A majority (56.8%) injected daily, and approximately half (48.0%) reported fentanyl as their most frequently injected drug. As of 23 April 2021, 291 (41.5%) participants had returned for follow-up. Administrative and self-report data are being used to (1) evaluate the impact of integrated SCS on healthcare use, uptake of community health agency services, and health outcomes; (2) identify barriers and facilitators to SCS use; and (3) identify potential enhancements to SCS delivery. Nested sub-studies include evaluation of "safer opioid supply" programs and impacts of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Substance Abuse, Intravenous , Adult , Cohort Studies , Humans , Male , Ontario/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance Abuse, Intravenous/epidemiology
10.
Ann Epidemiol ; 63: 63-67, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1326908

ABSTRACT

Shelter-in-place mandates and closure of nonessential businesses have been central to COVID19 response strategies including in Toronto, Canada. Approximately half of the working population in Canada are employed in occupations that do not allow for remote work suggesting potentially limited impact of some of the strategies proposed to mitigate COVID-19 acquisition and onward transmission risks and associated morbidity and mortality. We compared per-capita rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths from January 23, 2020 to January 24, 2021, across neighborhoods in Toronto by proportion of the population working in essential services. We used person-level data on laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 community cases and deaths, and census data for neighborhood-level attributes. Cumulative per-capita rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths were 3.3-fold and 2.5-fold higher, respectively, in neighborhoods with the highest versus lowest concentration of essential workers. Findings suggest that the population who continued to serve the essential needs of society throughout COVID-19 shouldered a disproportionate burden of transmission and deaths. Taken together, results signal the need for active intervention strategies to complement restrictive measures to optimize both the equity and effectiveness of COVID-19 responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Epidemics , Canada , Humans , Occupations , SARS-CoV-2
12.
J Urban Health ; 98(4): 538-550, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1283812

ABSTRACT

The Ontario Integrated Supervised Injection Services cohort in Toronto, Canada (OiSIS-Toronto) is an open prospective cohort of people who inject drugs (PWID). OiSIS-Toronto was established to evaluate the impacts of supervised consumption services (SCS) integrated within three community health agencies on health status and service use. The cohort includes PWID who do and do not use SCS, recruited via self-referral, snowball sampling, and community/street outreach. From 5 November 2018 to 19 March 2020, we enrolled 701 eligible PWID aged 18+ who lived in Toronto. Participants complete interviewer-administered questionnaires at baseline and semi-annually thereafter and are asked to consent to linkages with provincial healthcare administrative databases (90.2% consented; of whom 82.4% were successfully linked) and SCS client databases. At baseline, 86.5% of participants (64.0% cisgender men, median ([IQR] age= 39 [33-49]) had used SCS in the previous 6 months, of whom most (69.7%) used SCS for <75% of their injections. A majority (56.8%) injected daily, and approximately half (48.0%) reported fentanyl as their most frequently injected drug. As of 23 April 2021, 291 (41.5%) participants had returned for follow-up. Administrative and self-report data are being used to (1) evaluate the impact of integrated SCS on healthcare use, uptake of community health agency services, and health outcomes; (2) identify barriers and facilitators to SCS use; and (3) identify potential enhancements to SCS delivery. Nested sub-studies include evaluation of "safer opioid supply" programs and impacts of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Substance Abuse, Intravenous , Adult , Cohort Studies , Humans , Male , Ontario/epidemiology , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance Abuse, Intravenous/epidemiology
13.
CMAJ ; 193(20): E723-E734, 2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238783

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Optimizing the public health response to reduce the burden of COVID-19 necessitates characterizing population-level heterogeneity of risks for the disease. However, heterogeneity in SARS-CoV-2 testing may introduce biased estimates depending on analytic design. We aimed to explore the potential for collider bias in a large study of disease determinants, and evaluate individual, environmental and social determinants associated with SARS-CoV-2 testing and diagnosis among residents of Ontario, Canada. METHODS: We explored the potential for collider bias and characterized individual, environmental and social determinants of being tested and testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection using cross-sectional analyses among 14.7 million community-dwelling people in Ontario, Canada. Among those with a diagnosis, we used separate analytic designs to compare predictors of people testing positive versus negative; symptomatic people testing positive versus testing negative; and people testing positive versus people not testing positive (i.e., testing negative or not being tested). Our analyses included tests conducted between Mar. 1 and June 20, 2020. RESULTS: Of 14 695 579 people, we found that 758 691 were tested for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 25 030 (3.3%) had a positive test result. The further the odds of testing from the null, the more variability we generally observed in the odds of diagnosis across analytic design, particularly among individual factors. We found that there was less variability in testing by social determinants across analytic designs. Residing in areas with the highest household density (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.75-1.98), highest proportion of essential workers (adjusted OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.48-1.69), lowest educational attainment (adjusted OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.26-1.41) and highest proportion of recent immigrants (adjusted OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.05-1.15) were consistently related to increased odds of SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis regardless of analytic design. INTERPRETATION: Where testing is limited, our results suggest that risk factors may be better estimated using population comparators rather than test-negative comparators. Optimizing COVID-19 responses necessitates investment in and sufficient coverage of structural interventions tailored to heterogeneity in social determinants of risk, including household crowding, occupation and structural racism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Social Determinants of Health/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario/epidemiology , Young Adult
14.
CMAJ ; 193(20): E723-E734, 2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206209

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Optimizing the public health response to reduce the burden of COVID-19 necessitates characterizing population-level heterogeneity of risks for the disease. However, heterogeneity in SARS-CoV-2 testing may introduce biased estimates depending on analytic design. We aimed to explore the potential for collider bias in a large study of disease determinants, and evaluate individual, environmental and social determinants associated with SARS-CoV-2 testing and diagnosis among residents of Ontario, Canada. METHODS: We explored the potential for collider bias and characterized individual, environmental and social determinants of being tested and testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection using cross-sectional analyses among 14.7 million community-dwelling people in Ontario, Canada. Among those with a diagnosis, we used separate analytic designs to compare predictors of people testing positive versus negative; symptomatic people testing positive versus testing negative; and people testing positive versus people not testing positive (i.e., testing negative or not being tested). Our analyses included tests conducted between Mar. 1 and June 20, 2020. RESULTS: Of 14 695 579 people, we found that 758 691 were tested for SARS-CoV-2, of whom 25 030 (3.3%) had a positive test result. The further the odds of testing from the null, the more variability we generally observed in the odds of diagnosis across analytic design, particularly among individual factors. We found that there was less variability in testing by social determinants across analytic designs. Residing in areas with the highest household density (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.75-1.98), highest proportion of essential workers (adjusted OR 1.58, 95% CI 1.48-1.69), lowest educational attainment (adjusted OR 1.33, 95% CI 1.26-1.41) and highest proportion of recent immigrants (adjusted OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.05-1.15) were consistently related to increased odds of SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis regardless of analytic design. INTERPRETATION: Where testing is limited, our results suggest that risk factors may be better estimated using population comparators rather than test-negative comparators. Optimizing COVID-19 responses necessitates investment in and sufficient coverage of structural interventions tailored to heterogeneity in social determinants of risk, including household crowding, occupation and structural racism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Social Determinants of Health/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario/epidemiology , Young Adult
15.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 10(2): e26192, 2021 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059620

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: HIV is the leading cause of mortality among youth in sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda hosts over 1.43 million refugees, and more than 83,000 live in Kampala, largely in informal settlements. There is limited information about HIV testing uptake and preferences among urban refugee and displaced youth. HIV self-testing is a promising method for increasing testing uptake. Further, mobile health (mHealth) interventions have been effective in increasing HIV testing uptake and could be particularly useful among youth. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of two HIV self-testing implementation strategies (HIV self-testing intervention alone and HIV self-testing combined with an mHealth intervention) in comparison with the HIV testing standard of care in terms of HIV testing outcomes among refugee/displaced youth aged 16 to 24 years in Kampala, Uganda. METHODS: A three-arm cluster randomized controlled trial will be implemented across five informal settlements grouped into three sites, based on proximity, and randomization will be performed with a 1:1:1 method. Approximately 450 adolescents (150 per cluster) will be enrolled and followed for 12 months. Data will be collected at the following three time points: baseline enrollment, 8 months after enrollment, and 12 months after enrollment. Primary outcomes (HIV testing frequency, HIV status knowledge, linkage to confirmatory testing, and linkage to HIV care) and secondary outcomes (depression, condom use efficacy, consistent condom use, sexual relationship power, HIV stigma, and adolescent sexual and reproductive health stigma) will be evaluated. RESULTS: The study has been conducted in accordance with CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) guidelines. The study has received ethical approval from the University of Toronto (June 14, 2019), Mildmay Uganda (November 11, 2019), and the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (August 3, 2020). The Tushirikiane trial launched in February 2020, recruiting a total of 452 participants. Data collection was paused for 8 months due to COVID-19. Data collection for wave 2 resumed in November 2020, and as of December 10, 2020, a total of 295 participants have been followed-up. The third, and final, wave of data collection will be conducted between February and March 2021. CONCLUSIONS: This study will contribute to the knowledge of differentiated HIV testing implementation strategies for urban refugee and displaced youth living in informal settlements. We will share the findings in peer-reviewed manuscripts and conference presentations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04504097; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04504097. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/26192.

18.
CMAJ Open ; 8(4): E627-E636, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-840782

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Congregate settings have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Our objective was to compare testing for, diagnosis of and death after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection across 3 settings (residents of long-term care homes, people living in shelters and the rest of the population). METHODS: We conducted a population-based prospective cohort study involving individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 in the Greater Toronto Area between Jan. 23, 2020, and May 20, 2020. We sourced person-level data from COVID-19 surveillance and reporting systems in Ontario. We calculated cumulatively diagnosed cases per capita, proportion tested, proportion tested positive and case-fatality proportion for each setting. We estimated the age- and sex-adjusted rate ratios associated with setting for test positivity and case fatality using quasi-Poisson regression. RESULTS: Over the study period, a total of 173 092 individuals were tested for and 16 490 individuals were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. We observed a shift in the proportion of cumulative cases from all cases being related to travel to cases in residents of long-term care homes (20.4% [3368/16 490]), shelters (2.3% [372/16 490]), other congregate settings (20.9% [3446/16 490]) and community settings (35.4% [5834/16 490]), with cumulative travel-related cases at 4.1% (674/16490). Cumulatively, compared with the rest of the population, the diagnosed cases per capita was 64-fold and 19-fold higher among long-term care home and shelter residents, respectively. By May 20, 2020, 76.3% (21 617/28 316) of long-term care home residents and 2.2% (150 077/6 808 890) of the rest of the population had been tested. After adjusting for age and sex, residents of long-term care homes were 2.4 (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.2-2.7) times more likely to test positive, and those who received a diagnosis of COVID-19 were 1.4-fold (95% CI 1.1-1.8) more likely to die than the rest of the population. INTERPRETATION: Long-term care homes and shelters had disproportionate diagnosed cases per capita, and residents of long-term care homes diagnosed with COVID-19 had higher case fatality than the rest of the population. Heterogeneity across micro-epidemics among specific populations and settings may reflect underlying heterogeneity in transmission risks, necessitating setting-specific COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Canada/epidemiology , Female , Homeless Persons/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Long-Term Care/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Prospective Studies , Travel/statistics & numerical data , Travel-Related Illness
20.
AIDS Behav ; 24(7): 2024-2032, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-141720

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is reinforcing health inequities among vulnerable populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM). We conducted a rapid online survey (April 2 to April 13, 2020) of COVID-19 related impacts on the sexual health of 1051 US MSM. Many participants had adverse impacts to general wellbeing, social interactions, money, food, drug use and alcohol consumption. Half had fewer sex partners and most had no change in condom access or use. Some reported challenges in accessing HIV testing, prevention and treatment services. Compared to older MSM, those 15-24 years were more likely to report economic and service impacts. While additional studies of COVID-19 epidemiology among MSM are needed, there is already evidence of emerging interruptions to HIV-related services. Scalable remote solutions such as telehealth and mailed testing and prevention supplies may be urgently needed to avert increased HIV incidence among MSM during the COVID-19 pandemic era.


Subject(s)
Condoms/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Homosexuality, Male/statistics & numerical data , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Sexual Partners , Adult , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , Young Adult
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