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1.
Child Abuse Negl ; : 105431, 2021 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559889

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted children and young people experiencing child abuse and neglect. Child Protective Services (CPS) has played an important role in supporting children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Few studies to-date have evaluated the impact of the pandemic on CPS caseworkers and administrators in the United States. OBJECTIVES: We conducted interviews to explore CPS caseworkers' and administrators' experiences working and serving families during the pandemic. METHODS: Participants were U.S.-based CPS caseworkers and administrators. We conducted semi-structured virtual interviews with participants and used an inductive thematic analysis approach. RESULTS: We conducted 37 interviews. Participants discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way they conduct investigations and provide services to families in the CPS system. Several services were adapted to occur virtually, providing challenges and unique opportunities. Participants also described the personal barriers they faced during the pandemic, including working remotely, experiencing burnout, and challenges obtaining personal protective equipment. Finally, participants shared creative solutions they engaged in to support children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, including expanding collaborations with other community-based organizations. DISCUSSION: This study suggests the important role that CPS has played during the pandemic and challenges individual CPS workers felt, in terms of both experiencing burnout and difficulty obtaining personalized protective equipment. Inclusion of the CPS system in emergency preparedness planning for future pandemics or natural disasters will ensure continuation of these vital services.

2.
Violence Against Women ; : 10778012211054869, 2021 Dec 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551157

ABSTRACT

We explored the challenges and lived experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic by interviewing 53 U.S.-based IPV advocates between June and November 2020. Advocates described how the COVID-19 pandemic limited survivors' abilities to meet their basic needs. The pandemic was also described as being used by abusive partners to perpetrate control and has created unique safety and harm reduction challenges. IPV survivors experienced compounding challenges due to structural inequities. IPV must be considered by local, state, and federal governments when developing disaster planning policies and practices, including in the context of pandemics.

3.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260555, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546958

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In June 2021, United Nations (UN) Member States committed to ambitious targets for scaling up community-led responses by 2025 toward meeting the goals of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. These targets build on UN Member States 2016 commitments to ensure that 30% of HIV testing and treatment programmes are community-led by 2030. At its current pace, the world is not likely to meet these nor other global HIV targets, as evidenced by current epidemiologic trends. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to further slow momentum made to date. The purpose of this paper is to review available evidence on the comparative advantages of community-led HIV responses that can better inform policy making towards getting the world back on track. METHODS: We conducted a scoping review to gather available evidence on peer- and community-led HIV responses. Using UNAIDS' definition of 'community-led' and following PRISMA guidelines, we searched peer-reviewed literature published from January 1982 through September 2020. We limited our search to articles reporting findings from randomized controlled trials as well as from quasi-experimental, prospective, pre/post-test evaluation, and cross-sectional study designs. The overall goals of this scoping review were to gather available evidence on community-led responses and their impact on HIV outcomes, and to identify key concepts that can be used to quickly inform policy, practice, and research. FINDINGS: Our initial search yielded 279 records. After screening for relevance and conducting cross-validation, 48 articles were selected. Most studies took place in the global south (n = 27) and a third (n = 17) involved youth. Sixty-five percent of articles (n = 31) described the comparative advantage of peer- and community-led direct services, e.g., prevention and education (n = 23) testing, care, and treatment programs (n = 8). We identified more than 40 beneficial outcomes linked to a range of peer- and community-led HIV activities. They include improved HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, intentions, self-efficacy, risk behaviours, risk appraisals, health literacy, adherence, and viral suppression. Ten studies reported improvements in HIV service access, quality, linkage, utilization, and retention resulting from peer- or community-led programs or initiatives. Three studies reported structural level changes, including positive influences on clinic wait times, treatment stockouts, service coverage, and exclusionary practices. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Findings from our scoping review underscore the comparative advantage of peer- and community-led HIV responses. Specifically, the evidence from the published literature leads us to recommend, where possible, that prevention programs, especially those intended for people living with and disproportionately affected by HIV, be peer- and community-led. In addition, treatment services should strive to integrate specific peer- and community-led components informed by differentiated care models. Future research is needed and should focus on generating additional quantitative evidence on cost effectiveness and on the synergistic effects of bundling two or more peer- and community-led interventions.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care/standards , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Health Literacy , Humans , Medication Adherence , Peer Group , Risk-Taking , Self Efficacy , United Nations
4.
J Fam Violence ; : 1-14, 2021 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1491286

ABSTRACT

Relatively few studies have considered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on intimate partner violence (IPV) advocates or the agencies where they work. In this study, based on United States IPV advocates' experiences working with survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic, we conducted interviews to explore: 1) personal challenges and resilience working as IPV advocates during the COVID-19 pandemic; 2) how agencies adapted to the pandemic to support IPV survivors and advocates; and 3) specific needs and challenges of culturally-specific agencies. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 53 IPV advocates from June to November 2020. Participants were included if they worked directly with survivors, identified as an IPV advocate, worked at a US-based agency, and spoke and understood English. We created a sampling matrix to ensure adequate representation from IPV advocates serving survivors from communities which have been marginalized. Interviews were conducted through a virtual platform by a trained member of the research team. We used an inductive thematic analysis approach, with weekly coding meetings to resolve discrepancies in coding. Five themes emerged from the data: 1) IPV advocates described how working as an IPV advocate during the COVID-19 pandemic impacted them personally; 2) agencies developed new methods of addressing IPV advocates' needs; 3) agencies developed new solutions to address pandemic-related client needs; 4) transitioning advocacy work to virtual formats created challenges but also opportunities and; 5) pandemic limitations and impacts compounded pre-pandemic challenges for culturally specific agencies. IPV advocates are frontline workers who have played essential roles in adjusting services to meet survivor needs during the COVID-19 pandemic while simultaneously coping with pandemic impacts on themselves and their agencies. Developing inter-agency collaborations and promoting advocates' safety and wellbeing during future public health crises will help support IPV survivors.

7.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 23(10): e25632, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-840552

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Key populations at elevated risk to contract or transmit HIV may also be at higher risk of COVID-19 complications and adverse outcomes associated with public health prevention measures. However, the conditions faced by specific populations vary according to social, structural and environmental factors, including stigma and discrimination, criminalization, social and economic safety nets and the local epidemiology of HIV and COVID-19, which determine risk of exposure and vulnerability to adverse health outcomes, as well as the ability to comply with measures such as physical distancing. This commentary identifies common vulnerabilities and cross-cutting themes in terms of the impacts of COVID-19 on key populations before addressing issues and concerns specific to particular populations. DISCUSSION: Cross-cutting themes include direct impacts such as disrupted access to essential medicines, commodities and services such as anti-retroviral treatment, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, opioid agonist treatment, viral load monitoring, HIV and sexually transmitted infections testing, condoms and syringes. Indirect impacts include significant collateral damage arising from prevention measures which restrict human rights, increase or impose criminal penalties, and expand police powers to target vulnerable and criminalized populations. Significant heterogeneity in the COVID-19 pandemic, the underlying HIV epidemic and the ability of key populations to protect themselves means that people who inject drugs and sex workers face particular challenges, including indirect impacts as a result of police targeting, loss of income and sometimes both. Geographical variations mean that transgender people and men who have sex with men in regions like Africa and the middle east remain criminalized, as well as stigmatized and discriminated against, increasing their vulnerability to adverse outcomes in relation to COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Disruptions to both licit and illicit supply chains, loss of income and livelihoods and changes in behaviour as a result of lockdowns and physical distancing have the potential to exacerbate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on key populations. While these impacts will vary significantly, human-rights approaches to COVID-19 emergency laws and public health prevention measures that are population-specific and sensitive, will be key to reducing adverse health outcomes and ensuring that no one is left behind.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Vulnerable Populations , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Income , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Prisoners , Public Health , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Workers , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Social Stigma , Viral Load
8.
Int J Drug Policy ; 83: 102832, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-622982

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 crisis has magnified existing social, economic and political inequities. People who use drugs are particularly vulnerable due to criminalisation and stigma and often experience underlying health conditions, higher rates of poverty, unemployment and homelessness, as well as a lack of access to vital resources - putting them at greater risk of infection. On the other hand, COVID-19 presents an opportunity to confront the mistakes of the past and re-negotiate a new social contract. The International Network of People who use Drugs (INPUD) believe that this crisis must be an occasion to rethink the function of punishment, to reform the system and to work towards ending the war on drugs. This commentary presents a set of recommendations to UN agencies, governments, donor agencies, academics, researchers and civil society, challenging these actors to work alongside people who use drugs to enact a new reality based on solidarity and cooperation, protection of health, restoration of rights and dignity and most importantly to mobilise to win the peace.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Criminal Law , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Substance-Related Disorders , Global Health , Humans
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