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3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(15)2022 Jul 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957314

ABSTRACT

The HIV epidemic is fueled by poverty; yet, methods to measure poverty remain scarce among populations at risk for HIV infection and disease progression to AIDS in Malaysia. Between August and November 2020, using data from a cross-sectional study of people who use drugs, (PWUD), transgender people, sex workers and men who have sex with men, this study examined the reliability and validity of a material security scale as a measurement of poverty. Additionally, we assessed factors associated with material security scores. We performed confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for 268 study participants included in the analysis. A revised nine-item three-factor structure of the material security scale demonstrated an excellent fit in CFA. The revised material security score displayed good reliability, with Cronbach's alpha of 0.843, 0.826 and 0.818 for housing, economic resources and basic needs factors, respectively. In a subsequent analysis, PWUD and transgender people were less likely to present good material security scores during the pandemic, compared to their counterparts. The revised nine-item scale is a useful tool to assess poverty among key populations at-risk for HIV/AIDS with the potential to be extrapolated in similar income settings.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Transgender Persons , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , Poverty , Reproducibility of Results
4.
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0270831, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1951547

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened continued access to public health services worldwide, including HIV prevention and care. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV service access and delivery in the Asia region. METHODS: A descriptive, cross-sectional, online study, conducted between October-November 2020, assessed the impact of COVID-19 on HIV prevention and care among people living with HIV (PLHIV), key populations (KPs), and healthcare providers (HCPs). The study populations were recruited across ten Asian countries/territories, covering Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. RESULTS: Across the region, 702 PLHIV, 551 KPs, and 145 HCPs were recruited. Both PLHIV and KPs reported decreased or had yet to visit hospitals/clinics (PLHIV: 35.9%; KPs: 57.5%), reduced HIV RNA viral load testing (21.9%; 47.3%), and interruptions in antiretroviral therapy (ART) (22.3%) or decreased/complete stop of HIV prevention medication consumption (40.9%). Travel constraints (40.6%), financial issues (28.9%), and not receiving prescription refills (26.9%) were common reasons for interrupted ART access, whereas reduced engagements in behaviours that could increase the risks of HIV acquisition and transmission (57.7%), travel constraints (41.8%), and less hospital/clinic visits (36.7%) underlie the disruptions in HIV preventive medications. Decreased visits from PLHIV/KPs and rescheduled appointments due to clinic closure were respectively reported by 50.7%-52.1% and 15.6%-17.0% of HCPs; 43.6%-61.9% observed decreased ART/preventive medication refills. Although 85.0% of HCPs adopted telemedicine to deliver HIV care services, 56.4%-64.1% of PLHIV/KPs were not using telehealth services. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic substantially disrupted HIV prevention to care continuum in Asia at the time of the study. The findings highlighted differences in HIV prevention to care continuum via telehealth services utilisation by PLHIV, KPs, and HCPs. Efforts are needed to optimise infrastructure and adapt systems for continued HIV care with minimal disruptions during health emergency crises.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Continuity of Patient Care , Cross-Sectional Studies , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Health Personnel , Hong Kong , Humans , Pandemics
5.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336915

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT Background Effective COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are mainly available in high-income countries. ChulaCov19, a prefusion non-stabilized Spike protein-encoding, nucleoside-modified mRNA, lipid nanoparticle encapsulated vaccine development, aims to enhance accessibility of mRNA vaccine and future pandemic preparedness for low- to middle-income countries. Methods Seventy-two eligible volunteers, 36 aged 18-55 (adults) followed by 36 aged 56-75 (elderly) enrolled in a dose escalation study of ChulaCov19 mRNA vaccine. Two doses of vaccine were given 21 days apart at 10, 25, or 50 µg/dose (12/group). Safety was the primary and immunogenicity the secondary outcome. Human convalescents’ (HCS) and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccinees’ sera provided comparison panels. Results All three doses of ChulaCov19 were well tolerated and elicited robust dose-dependent and age- dependent B- and T-cell responses. Transient mild/moderate injection site pain, fever, chills, fatigue, and headache were more common after the second dose. Four weeks after the second ChulaCov19: dose at 10, 25, and 50 µg dose, MicroVNT-50 Geometric mean titer (GMT) against wild-type was 848, 736 and 1,140 IU/mL, respectively, versus 267 IU/mL for HCS. All dose levels elicited 100% seroconversion, with GMT ratio 4-8-fold higher than for HCS (p<0.01), and high IFNγ spot-forming cells/million peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The 50 µg dose induced better cross-neutralization against Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants than lower doses. Conclusions ChulaCov19 at 50 µg/dose is well tolerated and elicited higher neutralizing antibodies than HCS with strong T-cell responses. These antibodies cross neutralized four variants of concern and ChulaCov19 has therefore proceeded to phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. Trial registration number ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT04566276 Graphical Abstract

6.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 22(4): 507-518, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839425

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The WHO-recommended tuberculosis screening and diagnostic algorithm in ambulatory people living with HIV is a four-symptom screen (known as the WHO-recommended four symptom screen [W4SS]) followed by a WHO-recommended molecular rapid diagnostic test (eg Xpert MTB/RIF [hereafter referred to as Xpert]) if W4SS is positive. To inform updated WHO guidelines, we aimed to assess the diagnostic accuracy of alternative screening tests and strategies for tuberculosis in this population. METHODS: In this systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis, we updated a search of PubMed (MEDLINE), Embase, the Cochrane Library, and conference abstracts for publications from Jan 1, 2011, to March 12, 2018, done in a previous systematic review to include the period up to Aug 2, 2019. We screened the reference lists of identified pieces and contacted experts in the field. We included prospective cross-sectional, observational studies and randomised trials among adult and adolescent (age ≥10 years) ambulatory people living with HIV, irrespective of signs and symptoms of tuberculosis. We extracted study-level data using a standardised data extraction form, and we requested individual participant data from study authors. We aimed to compare the W4SS with alternative screening tests and strategies and the WHO-recommended algorithm (ie, W4SS followed by Xpert) with Xpert for all in terms of diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity and specificity), overall and in key subgroups (eg, by antiretroviral therapy [ART] status). The reference standard was culture. This study is registered with PROSPERO, CRD42020155895. FINDINGS: We identified 25 studies, and obtained data from 22 studies (including 15 666 participants; 4347 [27·7%] of 15 663 participants with data were on ART). W4SS sensitivity was 82% (95% CI 72-89) and specificity was 42% (29-57). C-reactive protein (≥10 mg/L) had similar sensitivity to (77% [61-88]), but higher specificity (74% [61-83]; n=3571) than, W4SS. Cough (lasting ≥2 weeks), haemoglobin (<10 g/dL), body-mass index (<18·5 kg/m2), and lymphadenopathy had high specificities (80-90%) but low sensitivities (29-43%). The WHO-recommended algorithm had a sensitivity of 58% (50-66) and a specificity of 99% (98-100); Xpert for all had a sensitivity of 68% (57-76) and a specificity of 99% (98-99). In the one study that assessed both, the sensitivity of sputum Xpert Ultra was higher than sputum Xpert (73% [62-81] vs 57% [47-67]) and specificities were similar (98% [96-98] vs 99% [98-100]). Among outpatients on ART (4309 [99·1%] of 4347 people on ART), W4SS sensitivity was 53% (35-71) and specificity was 71% (51-85). In this population, a parallel strategy (two tests done at the same time) of W4SS with any chest x-ray abnormality had higher sensitivity (89% [70-97]) and lower specificity (33% [17-54]; n=2670) than W4SS alone; at a tuberculosis prevalence of 5%, this strategy would require 379 more rapid diagnostic tests per 1000 people living with HIV than W4SS but detect 18 more tuberculosis cases. Among outpatients not on ART (11 160 [71·8%] of 15 541 outpatients), W4SS sensitivity was 85% (76-91) and specificity was 37% (25-51). C-reactive protein (≥10 mg/L) alone had a similar sensitivity to (83% [79-86]), but higher specificity (67% [60-73]; n=3187) than, W4SS and a sequential strategy (both test positive) of W4SS then C-reactive protein (≥5 mg/L) had a similar sensitivity to (84% [75-90]), but higher specificity than (64% [57-71]; n=3187), W4SS alone; at 10% tuberculosis prevalence, these strategies would require 272 and 244 fewer rapid diagnostic tests per 1000 people living with HIV than W4SS but miss two and one more tuberculosis cases, respectively. INTERPRETATION: C-reactive protein reduces the need for further rapid diagnostic tests without compromising sensitivity and has been included in the updated WHO tuberculosis screening guidelines. However, C-reactive protein data were scarce for outpatients on ART, necessitating future research regarding the utility of C-reactive protein in this group. Chest x-ray can be useful in outpatients on ART when combined with W4SS. The WHO-recommended algorithm has suboptimal sensitivity; Xpert for all offers slight sensitivity gains and would have major resource implications. FUNDING: World Health Organization.


Subject(s)
Antibiotics, Antitubercular , HIV Infections , Mycobacterium tuberculosis , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary , Tuberculosis , Adolescent , Adult , Antibiotics, Antitubercular/therapeutic use , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Prospective Studies , Rifampin , Sensitivity and Specificity , Tuberculosis/diagnosis , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/diagnosis , Tuberculosis, Pulmonary/drug therapy
7.
J Med Virol ; 94(3): 1146-1153, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1718381

ABSTRACT

Malaysia has experienced three waves of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as of March 31, 2021. We studied the associated molecular epidemiology and SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence during the third wave. We obtained 60 whole-genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences between October 2020 and January 2021 in Kuala Lumpur/Selangor and analyzed 989 available Malaysian sequences. We tested 653 residual serum samples collected between December 2020 to April 2021 for anti-SARS-CoV-2 total antibodies, as a proxy for population immunity. The first wave (January 2020) comprised sporadic imported cases from China of early Pango lineages A and B. The second wave (March-June 2020) was associated with lineage B.6. The ongoing third wave (from September 2020) was propagated by a state election in Sabah. It is due to lineage B.1.524 viruses containing spike mutations D614G and A701V. Lineages B.1.459, B.1.470, and B.1.466.2 were likely imported from the region and confined to Sarawak state. Direct age-standardized seroprevalence in Kuala Lumpur/Selangor was 3.0%. The second and third waves were driven by super-spreading events and different circulating lineages. Malaysia is highly susceptible to further waves, especially as alpha (B.1.1.7) and beta (B.1.351) variants of concern were first detected in December 2020/January 2021. Increased genomic surveillance is critical.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seroepidemiologic Studies
10.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 1238, 2021 Dec 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566508

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Hospitals are vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks. Intrahospital transmission of the disease is a threat to the healthcare systems as it increases morbidity and mortality among patients. It is imperative to deepen our understanding of transmission events in hospital-associated cases of COVID-19 for timely implementation of infection prevention and control measures in the hospital in avoiding future outbreaks. We examined the use of epidemiological case investigation combined with whole genome sequencing of cases to investigate and manage a hospital-associated cluster of COVID-19 cases. METHODS: An epidemiological investigation was conducted in a University Hospital in Malaysia from 23 March to 22 April 2020. Contact tracing, risk assessment, testing, symptom surveillance, and outbreak management were conducted following the diagnosis of a healthcare worker with SARS-CoV-2 by real-time PCR. These findings were complemented by whole genome sequencing analysis of a subset of positive cases. RESULTS: The index case was symptomatic but did not fulfill the initial epidemiological criteria for routine screening. Contact tracing suggested epidemiological linkages of 38 cases with COVID-19. Phylogenetic analysis excluded four of these cases. This cluster included 34 cases comprising ten healthcare worker-cases, nine patient-cases, and 15 community-cases. The epidemic curve demonstrated initial intrahospital transmission that propagated into the community. The estimated median incubation period was 4.7 days (95% CI: 3.5-6.4), and the serial interval was 5.3 days (95% CI: 4.3-6.5). CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated the contribution of integrating epidemiological investigation and whole genome sequencing in understanding disease transmission in the hospital setting. Contact tracing, risk assessment, testing, and symptom surveillance remain imperative in resource-limited settings to identify and isolate cases, thereby controlling COVID-19 outbreaks. The use of whole genome sequencing complements field investigation findings in clarifying transmission networks. The safety of a hospital population during this COVID-19 pandemic may be secured with a multidisciplinary approach, good infection control measures, effective preparedness and response plan, and individual-level compliance among the hospital population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Outbreaks , Hospitals, University , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Med Virol ; 94(3): 1146-1153, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1516774

ABSTRACT

Malaysia has experienced three waves of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as of March 31, 2021. We studied the associated molecular epidemiology and SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence during the third wave. We obtained 60 whole-genome SARS-CoV-2 sequences between October 2020 and January 2021 in Kuala Lumpur/Selangor and analyzed 989 available Malaysian sequences. We tested 653 residual serum samples collected between December 2020 to April 2021 for anti-SARS-CoV-2 total antibodies, as a proxy for population immunity. The first wave (January 2020) comprised sporadic imported cases from China of early Pango lineages A and B. The second wave (March-June 2020) was associated with lineage B.6. The ongoing third wave (from September 2020) was propagated by a state election in Sabah. It is due to lineage B.1.524 viruses containing spike mutations D614G and A701V. Lineages B.1.459, B.1.470, and B.1.466.2 were likely imported from the region and confined to Sarawak state. Direct age-standardized seroprevalence in Kuala Lumpur/Selangor was 3.0%. The second and third waves were driven by super-spreading events and different circulating lineages. Malaysia is highly susceptible to further waves, especially as alpha (B.1.1.7) and beta (B.1.351) variants of concern were first detected in December 2020/January 2021. Increased genomic surveillance is critical.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seroepidemiologic Studies
12.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 24(3): e25685, 2021 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453605
13.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(5): e1222-e1227, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398081

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented global challenge that substantially risks reversing the progress in ending human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). At the same time, it may offer the opportunity for a new era of HIV management. This viewpoint presents the impact of COVID-19 on HIV care, including the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) "three 90s" targets. It outlines how to enhance a patient-centered care approach, now known as the "fourth 90," by integrating face-to-face patient-physician and telemedicine encounters. It suggests a framework for prevention and treatment of multimorbidity and frailty, to achieve a good health-related quality of life, and to preserve intrinsic capacity in all people living with HIV.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , HIV , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 630730, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186871

ABSTRACT

Background: Restrictive orders and temporary programmatic or ad hoc changes within healthcare and other supportive systems that were implemented in response to the COVID-19 epidemic in Malaysia may have created hindrances to accessing healthcare and/or receiving other supportive services for people who use drugs (PWUDs). Design: A primarily qualitative study has been conducted to evaluate how service providers and recipients were adapting and coping during the initial periods of the COVID-19 response. Settings: The study engaged several healthcare and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the peninsular states of Penang, Kelantan, Selangor, and Melaka. Participants: Medical personnel of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) programs (n = 2) and HIV clinics (n = 3), staff of NGO services (n = 4), and MMT patients (n = 9) were interviewed using a semi-structured format. Results: Interviewed participants reported significant organizational, programmatic, and treatment protocols related changes implemented within the healthcare and support services in addition to nationally imposed Movement Control Orders (MCOs). Changes aimed to reduce patient flow and concentration at the on-site services locations, including less frequent in-person visits, increased use of telemedicine resources, and greater reliance on telecommunication methods to maintain contacts with patients and clients; changes in medication dispensing protocols, including increased take-home doses and relaxed rules for obtaining them, or delivery of medications to patients' homes or locations near their homes were reported by the majority of study participants. No significant rates of COVID-19 infections among PWUDs, including among those with HIV have been reported at the study sites. Conclusions: Although the reported changes presented new challenges for both services providers and recipients and resulted in some degree of initial disruption, generally, all participants reported successful implementation and high levels of compliance with the newly introduced restrictions, regulations, and protocols, resulting in relatively low rates of treatment disruption or discontinuation at the study sites.

15.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249394, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183673

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The reporting of Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) mortality among healthcare workers highlights their vulnerability in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Some low- and middle-income countries have highlighted the challenges with COVID-19 testing, such as inadequate capacity, untrained laboratory personnel, and inadequate funding. This article describes the components and implementation of a healthcare worker surveillance programme in a designated COVID-19 teaching hospital in Malaysia. In addition, the distribution and characteristics of healthcare workers placed under surveillance are described. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A COVID-19 healthcare worker surveillance programme was implemented in University Malaya Medical Centre. The programme involved four teams: contact tracing, risk assessment, surveillance and outbreak investigation. Daily symptom surveillance was conducted over fourteen days for healthcare workers who were assessed to have low-, moderate- and high-risk of contracting COVID-19. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted for data collected over 24 weeks, from the 6th of March 2020 to the 20th of August 2020. RESULTS: A total of 1,174 healthcare workers were placed under surveillance. The majority were females (71.6%), aged between 25 and 34 years old (64.7%), were nursing staff (46.9%) and had no comorbidities (88.8%). A total of 70.9% were categorised as low-risk, 25.7% were moderate-risk, and 3.4% were at high risk of contracting COVID-19. One-third (35.2%) were symptomatic, with the sore throat (23.6%), cough (19.8%) and fever (5.0%) being the most commonly reported symptoms. A total of 17 healthcare workers tested positive for COVID-19, with a prevalence of 0.3% among all the healthcare workers. Risk category and presence of symptoms were associated with a positive COVID-19 test (p<0.001). Fever (p<0.001), cough (p = 0.003), shortness of breath (p = 0.015) and sore throat (p = 0.002) were associated with case positivity. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 symptom surveillance and risk-based assessment have merits to be included in a healthcare worker surveillance programme to safeguard the health of the workforce.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing/trends , Comorbidity , Contact Tracing/methods , Cross-Sectional Studies , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Health Personnel , Hospitals, Teaching , Humans , Malaysia/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
17.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 183: 113213, 2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163433

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) enters the cells through the binding of its spike protein (S-protein) to the cell surface-expressing angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Thus, inhibition of S-protein-ACE2 binding may impede SARS-CoV-2 cell entry and attenuate the progression of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In this study, an electrochemical impedance spectroscopy-based biosensing platform consisting of a recombinant ACE2-coated palladium nano-thin-film electrode as the core sensing element was fabricated for the screening of potential inhibitors against S-protein-ACE2 binding. The platform could detect interference of small analytes against S-protein-ACE2 binding at low analyte concentration and small volume (0.1 µg/mL and ~1 µL, estimated total analyte consumption < 4 pg) within 21 min. Thus, a few potential inhibitors of S-protein-ACE2 binding were identified. This includes (2S,3aS,6aS)-1-((S)-N-((S)-1-Carboxy-3-phenylpropyl)alanyl)tetrahydrocyclopenta[b] pyrrole-2-carboxylic acid (ramiprilat) and (2S,3aS,7aS)-1-[(2S)-2-[[(2S)-1-Carboxybutyl]amino]propanoyl]-2,3,3a,4,5,6,7,7a-octahydroindole-2-carboxylic acid (perindoprilat) that reduced the binding affinity of S-protein to ACE2 by 72% and 67%; and SARS-CoV-2 in vitro infectivity to the ACE2-expressing human oral cavity squamous carcinoma cells (OEC-M1) by 36.4 and 20.1%, respectively, compared to the PBS control. These findings demonstrated the usefulness of the developed biosensing platform for the rapid screening of modulators for S-protein-ACE2 binding.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Dielectric Spectroscopy , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
18.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 24(4): e25696, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1160594

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Until COVID-19, tuberculosis (TB) was the leading infectious disease killer globally, disproportionally affecting people with HIV. The COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the gains made in the fight against both diseases. DISCUSSION: Although crucial guidance has been released on how to maintain TB and HIV services during the pandemic, it is acknowledged that what was considered normal service pre-pandemic needs to improve to ensure that we rebuild person-centred, inclusive and quality healthcare services. The threat that the pandemic may reverse gains in the response to TB and HIV may be turned into an opportunity by pivoting to using proven differentiated service delivery approaches and innovative technologies that can be used to maintain care during the pandemic and accelerate improved service delivery in the long term. Models of care should be convenient, supportive and sufficiently differentiated to avoid burdensome clinic visits for medication pick-ups or directly observed treatments. Additionally, the pandemic has highlighted the chronic and short-sighted lack of investment in health systems and the need to prioritize research and development to close the gaps in TB diagnosis, treatment and prevention, especially for children and people with HIV. Most importantly, TB-affected communities and civil society must be supported to lead the planning, implementation and monitoring of TB and HIV services, especially in the time of COVID-19 where services have been disrupted, and to report on legal, policy and gender-related barriers to access experienced by affected people. This will help to ensure that TB services are held accountable by affected communities for delivering equitable access to quality, affordable and non-discriminatory services during and beyond the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Successfully reaching the related targets of ending TB and AIDS as public health threats by 2030 requires rebuilding of stronger, more inclusive health systems by advancing equitable access to quality TB services, including for people with HIV, both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, services must be rights-based, community-led and community-based, to ensure that no one is left behind.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/therapy , Quality of Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Tuberculosis/therapy , Community Health Services , Humans
19.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(3): e24696, 2021 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1123725

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 and influenza are lipid-enveloped viruses with differential morbidity and mortality but shared modes of transmission. OBJECTIVE: With a descriptive epidemiological framing, we assessed whether recent historical patterns of regional influenza burden are reflected in the observed heterogeneity in COVID-19 cases across regions of the world. METHODS: Weekly surveillance data reported by the World Health Organization from January 2017 to December 2019 for influenza and from January 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020, for COVID-19 were used to assess seasonal and temporal trends for influenza and COVID-19 cases across the seven World Bank regions. RESULTS: In regions with more pronounced influenza seasonality, COVID-19 epidemics have largely followed trends similar to those seen for influenza from 2017 to 2019. COVID-19 epidemics in countries across Europe, Central Asia, and North America have been marked by a first peak during the spring, followed by significant reductions in COVID-19 cases in the summer months and a second wave in the fall. In Latin America and the Caribbean, COVID-19 epidemics in several countries peaked in the summer, corresponding to months with the highest influenza activity in the region. Countries from regions with less pronounced influenza activity, including South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, showed more heterogeneity in COVID-19 epidemics seen to date. However, similarities in COVID-19 and influenza trends were evident within select countries irrespective of region. CONCLUSIONS: Ecological consistency in COVID-19 trends seen to date with influenza trends suggests the potential for shared individual, structural, and environmental determinants of transmission. Using a descriptive epidemiological framework to assess shared regional trends for rapidly emerging respiratory pathogens with better studied respiratory infections may provide further insights into the differential impacts of nonpharmacologic interventions and intersections with environmental conditions. Ultimately, forecasting trends and informing interventions for novel respiratory pathogens like COVID-19 should leverage epidemiologic patterns in the relative burden of past respiratory pathogens as prior information.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cost of Illness , Global Health/statistics & numerical data , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Studies , Humans
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