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J Int AIDS Soc ; 24(4): e25697, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168893


INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting HIV care globally, with gaps in HIV treatment expected to increase HIV transmission and HIV-related mortality. We estimated how COVID-19-related disruptions could impact HIV transmission and mortality among men who have sex with men (MSM) in four cities in China, over a one- and five-year time horizon. METHODS: Regional data from China indicated that the number of MSM undergoing facility-based HIV testing reduced by 59% during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside reductions in ART initiation (34%), numbers of all sexual partners (62%) and consistency of condom use (25%), but initial data indicated no change in viral suppression. A mathematical model of HIV transmission/treatment among MSM was used to estimate the impact of disruptions on HIV infections/HIV-related deaths. Disruption scenarios were assessed for their individual and combined impact over one and five years for 3/4/6-month disruption periods, starting from 1 January 2020. RESULTS: Our model predicted new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths would be increased most by disruptions to viral suppression, with 25% reductions (25% virally suppressed MSM stop taking ART) for a three-month period increasing HIV infections by 5% to 14% over one year and deaths by 7% to 12%. Observed reductions in condom use increased HIV infections by 5% to 14% but had minimal impact (<1%) on deaths. Smaller impacts on infections and deaths (<3%) were seen for disruptions to facility HIV testing and ART initiation, but reduced partner numbers resulted in 11% to 23% fewer infections and 0.4% to 1.0% fewer deaths. Longer disruption periods (4/6 months) amplified the impact of disruption scenarios. When realistic disruptions were modelled simultaneously, an overall decrease in new HIV infections occurred over one year (3% to 17%), but not for five years (1% increase to 4% decrease), whereas deaths mostly increased over one year (1% to 2%) and five years (1.2 increase to 0.3 decrease). CONCLUSIONS: The overall impact of COVID-19 on new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths is dependent on the nature, scale and length of the various disruptions. Resources should be directed to ensuring levels of viral suppression and condom use are maintained to mitigate any adverse effects of COVID-19-related disruption on HIV transmission and control among MSM in China.

COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , SARS-CoV-2 , China/epidemiology , HIV Infections/transmission , Humans , Male , Safe Sex
Med Decis Making ; 41(4): 393-407, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1072866


BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many intensive care units have been overwhelmed by unprecedented levels of demand. Notwithstanding ethical considerations, the prioritization of patients with better prognoses may support a more effective use of available capacity in maximizing aggregate outcomes. This has prompted various proposed triage criteria, although in none of these has an objective assessment been made in terms of impact on number of lives and life-years saved. DESIGN: An open-source computer simulation model was constructed for approximating the intensive care admission and discharge dynamics under triage. The model was calibrated from observational data for 9505 patient admissions to UK intensive care units. To explore triage efficacy under various conditions, scenario analysis was performed using a range of demand trajectories corresponding to differing nonpharmaceutical interventions. RESULTS: Triaging patients at the point of expressed demand had negligible effect on deaths but reduces life-years lost by up to 8.4% (95% confidence interval: 2.6% to 18.7%). Greater value may be possible through "reverse triage", that is, promptly discharging any patient not meeting the criteria if admission cannot otherwise be guaranteed for one who does. Under such policy, life-years lost can be reduced by 11.7% (2.8% to 25.8%), which represents 23.0% (5.4% to 50.1%) of what is operationally feasible with no limit on capacity and in the absence of improved clinical treatments. CONCLUSIONS: The effect of simple triage is limited by a tradeoff between reduced deaths within intensive care (due to improved outcomes) and increased deaths resulting from declined admission (due to lower throughput given the longer lengths of stay of survivors). Improvements can be found through reverse triage, at the expense of potentially complex ethical considerations.

COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care , Health Care Rationing , Hospitalization , Intensive Care Units , Pandemics , Triage , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , Computer Simulation , Critical Care/ethics , Ethics, Clinical , Female , Health Care Rationing/ethics , Health Care Rationing/methods , Humans , Intensive Care Units/ethics , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/ethics , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Triage/ethics , Triage/methods , United Kingdom , Young Adult
BMJ Open ; 11(1): e041536, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015686


OBJECTIVES: To develop a regional model of COVID-19 dynamics for use in estimating the number of infections, deaths and required acute and intensive care (IC) beds using the South West England (SW) as an example case. DESIGN: Open-source age-structured variant of a susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered compartmental mathematical model. Latin hypercube sampling and maximum likelihood estimation were used to calibrate to cumulative cases and cumulative deaths. SETTING: SW at a time considered early in the pandemic, where National Health Service authorities required evidence to guide localised planning and support decision-making. PARTICIPANTS: Publicly available data on patients with COVID-19. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: The expected numbers of infected cases, deaths due to COVID-19 infection, patient occupancy of acute and IC beds and the reproduction ('R') number over time. RESULTS: SW model projections indicate that, as of 11 May 2020 (when 'lockdown' measures were eased), 5793 (95% credible interval (CrI) 2003 to 12 051) individuals were still infectious (0.10% of the total SW population, 95% CrI 0.04% to 0.22%), and a total of 189 048 (95% CrI 141 580 to 277 955) had been infected with the virus (either asymptomatically or symptomatically), but recovered, which is 3.4% (95% CrI 2.5% to 5.0%) of the SW population. The total number of patients in acute and IC beds in the SW on 11 May 2020 was predicted to be 701 (95% CrI 169 to 1543) and 110 (95% CrI 8 to 464), respectively. The R value in SW was predicted to be 2.6 (95% CrI 2.0 to 3.2) prior to any interventions, with social distancing reducing this to 2.3 (95% CrI 1.8 to 2.9) and lockdown/school closures further reducing the R value to 0.6 (95% CrI 0.5 to 0.7). CONCLUSIONS: The developed model has proved a valuable asset for regional healthcare services. The model will be used further in the SW as the pandemic evolves, and-as open-source software-is portable to healthcare systems in other geographies.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Hospital Bed Capacity/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Regional Health Planning , Surge Capacity , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Child, Preschool , Decision Making , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Intensive Care Units , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , Young Adult