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1.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr ; 87(1): 644-651, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865024

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus pandemic has necessitated a range of population-based measures to stem the spread of infection. These measures may be associated with disruptions to other health services including for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) at risk for or living with HIV. Here, we assess the relationship between stringency of COVID-19 control measures and interruptions to HIV prevention and treatment services for MSM. SETTING: Data for this study were collected between April 16, 2020, and May 24, 2020, as part of a COVID-19 Disparities Survey implemented by the gay social networking app, Hornet. Pandemic control measures were quantified using the Oxford Government Response Tracker Stringency Index: each country received a score (0-100) based on the number and strictness of 9 indicators related to restrictions, closures, and travel bans. METHODS: We used a multilevel mixed-effects generalized linear model with Poisson distribution to assess the association between stringency of pandemic control measures and access to HIV services. RESULTS: A total of 10,654 MSM across 20 countries were included. Thirty-eight percent (3992/10,396) reported perceived interruptions to in-person testing, 55% (5178/9335) interruptions to HIV self-testing, 56% (5171/9173) interruptions to pre-exposure prophylaxis, and 10% (990/9542) interruptions to condom access. For every 10-point increase in stringency, there was a 3% reduction in the prevalence of perceived access to in-person testing (aPR: 0·97, 95% CI: [0·96 to 0·98]), a 6% reduction in access to self-testing (aPR: 0·94, 95% CI: [0·93 to 0·95]), and a 5% reduction in access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (aPR: 0·95, 95% CI: [0·95 to 0·97]). Among those living with HIV, 20% (218/1105) were unable to access their provider; 65% (820/1254) reported being unable to refill their treatment prescription remotely. CONCLUSIONS: More stringent responses were associated with decreased perceived access to services. These results support the need for increasing emphasis on innovative strategies in HIV-related diagnostic, prevention, and treatment services to minimize service interruptions during this and potential future waves of COVID-19 for gay men and other MSM at risk for HIV acquisition and transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male/statistics & numerical data , Sexual and Gender Minorities/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Self-Testing , Sexual Behavior , Social Networking , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
2.
Am J Epidemiol ; 191(4): 552-556, 2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774332

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic thrust the field of public health into the spotlight. For many epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and other public health professionals, this caused the professional aspects of our lives to collide with the personal, as friends and family reached out with concerns and questions. Learning how to navigate this space was new for many of us and required refining our communication style depending on context, setting, and audience. Some of us took to social media, utilizing our existing personal accounts to share information after sorting through and summarizing the rapidly emerging literature to keep loved ones safe. However, those in our lives sometimes asked unanswerable questions, or began distancing themselves when we suggested more stringent guidance than they had hoped for, causing additional stress during an already traumatic time. We often had to remind ourselves that we were also individuals experiencing this pandemic and that our time-intensive efforts were meaningful, relevant, and impactful. As this pandemic and other public health crises continue, we encourage members of our discipline to consider how we can best use shared lessons from this period and to recognize that our professional knowledge, when used in our personal lives, can promote, protect, and bolster confidence in public health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Friends , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Public Health Rep ; 137(2): 197-202, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582752

ABSTRACT

The public health crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a deluge of scientific research aimed at informing the public health and medical response to the pandemic. However, early in the pandemic, those working in frontline public health and clinical care had insufficient time to parse the rapidly evolving evidence and use it for decision-making. Academics in public health and medicine were well-placed to translate the evidence for use by frontline clinicians and public health practitioners. The Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium (NCRC), a group of >60 faculty and trainees across the United States, formed in March 2020 with the goal to quickly triage and review the large volume of preprints and peer-reviewed publications on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 and summarize the most important, novel evidence to inform pandemic response. From April 6 through December 31, 2020, NCRC teams screened 54 192 peer-reviewed articles and preprints, of which 527 were selected for review and uploaded to the NCRC website for public consumption. Most articles were peer-reviewed publications (n = 395, 75.0%), published in 102 journals; 25.1% (n = 132) of articles reviewed were preprints. The NCRC is a successful model of how academics translate scientific knowledge for practitioners and help build capacity for this work among students. This approach could be used for health problems beyond COVID-19, but the effort is resource intensive and may not be sustainable in the long term.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Data Curation/methods , Information Dissemination/methods , Interdisciplinary Research/organization & administration , Peer Review, Research , Preprints as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Public Health , United States
4.
Am J Epidemiol ; 191(4): 552-556, 2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455237

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic thrust the field of public health into the spotlight. For many epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and other public health professionals, this caused the professional aspects of our lives to collide with the personal, as friends and family reached out with concerns and questions. Learning how to navigate this space was new for many of us and required refining our communication style depending on context, setting, and audience. Some of us took to social media, utilizing our existing personal accounts to share information after sorting through and summarizing the rapidly emerging literature to keep loved ones safe. However, those in our lives sometimes asked unanswerable questions, or began distancing themselves when we suggested more stringent guidance than they had hoped for, causing additional stress during an already traumatic time. We often had to remind ourselves that we were also individuals experiencing this pandemic and that our time-intensive efforts were meaningful, relevant, and impactful. As this pandemic and other public health crises continue, we encourage members of our discipline to consider how we can best use shared lessons from this period and to recognize that our professional knowledge, when used in our personal lives, can promote, protect, and bolster confidence in public health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Friends , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0254215, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304466

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Transgender and nonbinary people are disproportionately affected by structural barriers to quality healthcare, mental health challenges, and economic hardship. This study examined the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis and subsequent control measures on gender-affirming care, mental health, and economic stability among transgender and nonbinary people in multiple countries. METHODS: We collected multi-national, cross-sectional data from 964 transgender and nonbinary adult users of the Hornet and Her apps from April to August 2020 to characterize changes in gender-affirming care, mental health, and economic stability as a result of COVID-19. We conducted Poisson regression models to assess if access to gender-affirming care and ability to live according to one's gender were related to depressive symptoms, anxiety, and changes in suicidal ideation. RESULTS: Individuals resided in 76 countries, including Turkey (27.4%, n = 264) and Thailand (20.6%, n = 205). A majority were nonbinary (66.8%, n = 644) or transfeminine (29.4%, n = 283). Due to COVID-19, 55.0% (n = 320/582) reported reduced access to gender-affirming resources, and 38.0% (n = 327/860) reported reduced time lived according to their gender. About half screened positive for depression (50.4%,442/877) and anxiety (45.8%, n = 392/856). One in six (17.0%, n = 112/659) expected losses of health insurance, and 77.0% (n = 724/940) expected income reductions. The prevalence of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and increased suicidal ideation were 1.63 (95% CI: 1.36-1.97), 1.61 (95% CI: 1.31-1.97), and 1.74 (95% CI: 1.07-2.82) times higher for individuals whose access to gender-affirming resources was reduced versus not. DISCUSSION: The COVID-19 crisis is associated with reduced access to gender-affirming resources and the ability of transgender and nonbinary people to live according to their gender worldwide. These reductions may drive the increased depressive symptoms, anxiety, and suicidal ideation reported in this sample. To improve health of transgender and nonbinary communities, increased access to gender-affirming resources should be prioritized through policies (e.g., digital prescriptions), flexible interventions (e.g., telehealth), and support for existing transgender health initiatives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Reassignment Procedures/economics , Transgender Persons/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
6.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 901, 2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225767

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: HIV services, like many medical services, have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are limited data on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV treatment engagement outcomes among transgender (trans) and nonbinary people. This study addresses a pressing knowledge gap and is important in its global scope, its use of technology for recruitment, and focus on transgender people living with HIV. The objective of this study is to examine correlates of HIV infection and HIV treatment engagement outcomes (i.e., currently on ART, having an HIV provider, having access to HIV treatment without burden, and remote refills) since the COVID-19 pandemic began. METHODS: We utilized observational data from the Global COVID-19 Disparities Survey 2020, an online study that globally sampled trans and nonbinary people (n = 902) between April and August 2020. We conducted a series of multivariable logistic regressions with lasso selection to explore correlates of HIV treatment engagement outcomes in the context of COVID-19. RESULTS: Of the 120 (13.3%) trans and nonbinary people living with HIV in this survey, the majority (85.8%) were currently on HIV treatment. A smaller proportion (69.2%) reported having access to an HIV provider since COVID-19 control measures were implemented. Less than half reported being able to access treatment without burdens related to COVID-19 (48.3%) and having the ability to remotely refill HIV prescription (44.2%). After adjusting for gender in the multivariable models, younger age and anticipated job loss were significantly associated with not having access to HIV treatment without burden. Outcomes also significantly varied by geographic region, with respondents reporting less access to an HIV provider in nearly every region outside of South-East Asia. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that currently taking ART, having access to an HIV provider, and being able to access HIV treatment without burden and remotely refill HIV medication are suboptimal among trans and nonbinary people living with HIV across the world. Strengthening support for HIV programs that are well-connected to trans and nonbinary communities, increasing remote access to HIV providers and prescription refills, and providing socioeconomic support could significantly improve HIV engagement in trans and nonbinary communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Transgender Persons , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr ; 87(1): 644-651, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1029820

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus pandemic has necessitated a range of population-based measures to stem the spread of infection. These measures may be associated with disruptions to other health services including for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) at risk for or living with HIV. Here, we assess the relationship between stringency of COVID-19 control measures and interruptions to HIV prevention and treatment services for MSM. SETTING: Data for this study were collected between April 16, 2020, and May 24, 2020, as part of a COVID-19 Disparities Survey implemented by the gay social networking app, Hornet. Pandemic control measures were quantified using the Oxford Government Response Tracker Stringency Index: each country received a score (0-100) based on the number and strictness of 9 indicators related to restrictions, closures, and travel bans. METHODS: We used a multilevel mixed-effects generalized linear model with Poisson distribution to assess the association between stringency of pandemic control measures and access to HIV services. RESULTS: A total of 10,654 MSM across 20 countries were included. Thirty-eight percent (3992/10,396) reported perceived interruptions to in-person testing, 55% (5178/9335) interruptions to HIV self-testing, 56% (5171/9173) interruptions to pre-exposure prophylaxis, and 10% (990/9542) interruptions to condom access. For every 10-point increase in stringency, there was a 3% reduction in the prevalence of perceived access to in-person testing (aPR: 0·97, 95% CI: [0·96 to 0·98]), a 6% reduction in access to self-testing (aPR: 0·94, 95% CI: [0·93 to 0·95]), and a 5% reduction in access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (aPR: 0·95, 95% CI: [0·95 to 0·97]). Among those living with HIV, 20% (218/1105) were unable to access their provider; 65% (820/1254) reported being unable to refill their treatment prescription remotely. CONCLUSIONS: More stringent responses were associated with decreased perceived access to services. These results support the need for increasing emphasis on innovative strategies in HIV-related diagnostic, prevention, and treatment services to minimize service interruptions during this and potential future waves of COVID-19 for gay men and other MSM at risk for HIV acquisition and transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male/statistics & numerical data , Sexual and Gender Minorities/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Self-Testing , Sexual Behavior , Social Networking , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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