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Open Forum Infectious Diseases ; 7(SUPPL 1):S303-S304, 2020.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1185836


Background: The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on people living with HIV (PWH) are unknown. Beyond SARS-CoV-2 co-infection, the pandemic may have devastating consequences for HIV care delivery. Understanding these is crucial as reduced antiretroviral therapy (ART) availability alone could lead to ≥500,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2020-2021. With Latin America now a focal point in the pandemic, we sought to describe the impact of COVID-19 on HIV care at Latin American clinical sites. Methods: Caribbean, Central and South America network for HIV epidemiology (CCASAnet) and additional Brazilian HIV care sites in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru were included. An electronic survey of COVID-19 effects on HIV clinic operations was administered in Spanish or English via phone and email, April 28-June 2, 2020. We also compared national COVID-19 case, mortality, and policy data from public sources. Results: Brazil's and Mexico's epidemics appear most pronounced, with >10,000 confirmed COVID-19-related deaths (Figure 1);countries implemented “social distancing” policies at different times after initial cases, with Haiti earliest and Mexico latest (Figure 2). Nearly all 13 sites reported decreased hours and providers for HIV care. Twelve of 13 reported increased use of telehealth, suspension/postponements of routine HIV appointments, and/or suspension of HIV research. Eleven of 13 reported initiation of new COVID-19 research but suspension of community HIV testing, and nearly half provided additional ART supplies. Nearly 70% reported impacts on HIV viral load testing and nearly 40% reported personal protective equipment stock-outs (Table). All 13 sites experienced changes in resources/services in tandem with national policies;there was wide variation, however, in the number of economic and health supports implemented thus far (e.g., quarantines, tax deferrals, interest rate reductions, etc.), from 172 COVID-19-related policies in Brazil to only 30 in Mexico Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a substantial effect on daily operations of HIV clinics in Latin America. The downstream effects of these impacts on HIV outcomes in Latin America will need to be further studied. (Table Presented).