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1.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 71(12): 447-452, 2022 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1761301

ABSTRACT

The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) supports country programs in identifying persons living with HIV infection (PLHIV), providing life-saving treatment, and reducing the spread of HIV in countries around the world (1,2). CDC used Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting (MER) data* to assess the extent to which COVID-19 mitigation strategies affected HIV service delivery across the HIV care continuum† globally during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indicators included the number of reported HIV-positive test results, the number of PLHIV who were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), and the rates of HIV viral load suppression. Percent change in performance was assessed between countries during the first 3 months of 2020, before COVID-19 mitigation efforts began (January-March 2020), and the last 3 months of the calendar year (October-December 2020). Data were reviewed for all 41 countries to assess total and country-level percent change for each indicator. Then, qualitative data were reviewed among countries in the upper quartile to assess specific strategies that contributed to programmatic gains. Overall, positive percent change was observed in PEPFAR-supported countries in HIV treatment (5%) and viral load suppression (2%) during 2020. Countries reporting the highest gains across the HIV care continuum during 2020 attributed successes to reducing or streamlining facility attendance through strategies such as enhancing index testing (offering of testing to the biologic children and partners of PLHIV)§ and community- and home-based testing; treatment delivery approaches; and improvements in data use through monitoring activities, systems, and data quality checks. Countries that reported program improvements during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic offer important information about how lifesaving HIV treatment might be provided during a global public health crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections/drug therapy , International Cooperation , Anti-Retroviral Agents/therapeutic use , Global Health , Government Programs , HIV Infections/diagnosis , Humans , United States
2.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(12): 3133-3136, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496965

ABSTRACT

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) sequence data are required to inform vaccine efforts. We provide SARS-CoV-2 sequence data from South Sudan and document the dominance of SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.525 (Eta variant) during the country's second wave of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , South Sudan/epidemiology
3.
Bull World Health Organ ; 99(1): 34-40, 2021 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264306

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe an intervention to scale up tuberculosis preventive treatment for people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in South Sudan, 2017-2020. METHODS: Staff of the health ministry and United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief designed an intervention targeting the estimated 30 400 people living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy across South Sudan. The intervention comprised: (i) developing sensitization and operational guidance for clinicians to put tuberculosis preventive treatment delivery into clinical practice; (ii) disseminating monitoring and evaluation tools to document scale-up; (iii) implementing a programmatic pilot of tuberculosis preventive treatment; and (iv) identifying a mechanism for procurement and delivery of isoniazid to facilities dispensing tuberculosis preventive treatment. Staff aggregated routine programme data from facility registers on the numbers of people living with HIV who started on tuberculosis preventive treatment across all clinical sites providing this treatment during July 2019-March 2020. FINDINGS: Tuberculosis preventive treatment was implemented in 13 HIV treatment sites during July-October 2019, then in 26 sites during November 2019-March 2020. During July 2019-March 2020, 6503 people living with HIV started tuberculosis preventive treatment. CONCLUSION: Lessons for other low-resource settings may include supplementing national guidelines with health ministry directives, clinician guidance and training, and an implementation pilot. A cadre of field supervisors can rapidly disseminate a standardized approach to implementation and monitoring of tuberculosis preventive treatment, and this approach can be used to strengthen other tuberculosis-HIV services. Procuring a reliable and steady supply of tuberculosis preventive treatment medication is crucial.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/prevention & control , Anti-Retroviral Agents/administration & dosage , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Incidence , Male , Pilot Projects , Prevalence , South Sudan/epidemiology
4.
Pan Afr Med J ; 37: 384, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044667

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. South Sudan, a low-income and humanitarian response setting, reported its first case of COVID-19 on April 5, 2020. We describe the socio-demographic and epidemiologic characteristics of COVID-19 cases in this setting. METHODS: we conducted a cross-sectional descriptive analysis of data for 1,330 confirmed COVID-19 cases from the first 60 days of the outbreak. RESULTS: among the 1,330 confirmed cases, the mean age was 37.1 years, 77% were male, 17% were symptomatic with 95% categorized as mild, and the case fatality rate was 1.1%. Only 24.7% of cases were detected through alerts and sentinel site surveillance, with 95% of the cases reported from the capital, Juba. Epidemic doubling time averaged 9.8 days (95% confidence interval [CI] 7.7 - 13.4), with an attack rate of 11.5 per 100,000 population. Test positivity rate was 18.2%, with test rate per 100,000 population of 53 and mean test turn-around time of 9 days. The case to contact ratio was 1: 2.2. CONCLUSION: this 2-month initial period of COVID-19 in South Sudan demonstrated mostly young adults and men affected, with most cases reported as asymptomatic. Systems´ limitations highlighted included a small proportion of cases detected through surveillance, low testing rates, low contact elicitation, and long collection to test turn-around times limiting the country´s ability to effectively respond to the outbreak. A multi-pronged response including greater access to testing, scale-up of surveillance, contact tracing and community engagement, among other interventions are needed to improve the COVID-19 response in this setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Relief Work , Adolescent , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Child , Child, Preschool , Contact Tracing , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Sentinel Surveillance , Sex Distribution , South Sudan , Young Adult
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