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1.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260820, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581771

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread disruptions including to health services. In the early response to the pandemic many countries restricted population movements and some health services were suspended or limited. In late 2020 and early 2021 some countries re-imposed restrictions. Health authorities need to balance the potential harms of additional SARS-CoV-2 transmission due to contacts associated with health services against the benefits of those services, including fewer new HIV infections and deaths. This paper examines these trade-offs for select HIV services. METHODS: We used four HIV simulation models (Goals, HIV Synthesis, Optima HIV and EMOD) to estimate the benefits of continuing HIV services in terms of fewer new HIV infections and deaths. We used three COVID-19 transmission models (Covasim, Cooper/Smith and a simple contact model) to estimate the additional deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 transmission among health workers and clients. We examined four HIV services: voluntary medical male circumcision, HIV diagnostic testing, viral load testing and programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission. We compared COVID-19 deaths in 2020 and 2021 with HIV deaths occurring now and over the next 50 years discounted to present value. The models were applied to countries with a range of HIV and COVID-19 epidemics. RESULTS: Maintaining these HIV services could lead to additional COVID-19 deaths of 0.002 to 0.15 per 10,000 clients. HIV-related deaths averted are estimated to be much larger, 19-146 discounted deaths per 10,000 clients. DISCUSSION: While there is some additional short-term risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission associated with providing HIV services, the risk of additional COVID-19 deaths is at least 100 times less than the HIV deaths averted by those services. Ministries of Health need to take into account many factors in deciding when and how to offer essential health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work shows that the benefits of continuing key HIV services are far larger than the risks of additional SARS-CoV-2 transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Health Services/trends , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/therapy , HIV-1/pathogenicity , Health Services Administration , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Pandemics/prevention & control , Risk Assessment/methods , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
2.
Epidemics ; 38: 100535, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568689

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As vaccination coverage against SARS-CoV-2 increases amidst the emergence and spread of more infectious and potentially more deadly viral variants, decisions on timing and extent of relaxing effective, but unsustainable, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) need to be made. METHODS: An individual-based transmission model of SARS-CoV-2 dynamics, OpenCOVID, was developed to compare the impact of various vaccination and NPI strategies on the COVID-19 epidemic in Switzerland. OpenCOVID uses the Oxford Containment Health Index (OCHI) to quantify the stringency of NPIs. RESULTS: Even if NPIs in place in March 2021 were to be maintained and the vaccine campaigns rollout rapidly scaled-up, a 'third wave' was predicted. However, we find a cautious phased relaxation can substantially reduce population-level morbidity and mortality. We find that a faster vaccination campaign can offset the size of such a wave, allowing more flexibility for NPIs to be relaxed sooner. Model outcomes were most sensitive to the level of infectiousness of variants of concern observed in Switzerland. CONCLUSION: A rapid vaccination rollout can allow the sooner relaxation of NPIs, however ongoing surveillance of - and swift responses to - emerging viral variants is of utmost importance for epidemic control.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Switzerland/epidemiology , Vaccination
3.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(7): e1009149, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325366

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for models that can project epidemic trends, explore intervention scenarios, and estimate resource needs. Here we describe the methodology of Covasim (COVID-19 Agent-based Simulator), an open-source model developed to help address these questions. Covasim includes country-specific demographic information on age structure and population size; realistic transmission networks in different social layers, including households, schools, workplaces, long-term care facilities, and communities; age-specific disease outcomes; and intrahost viral dynamics, including viral-load-based transmissibility. Covasim also supports an extensive set of interventions, including non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as physical distancing and protective equipment; pharmaceutical interventions, including vaccination; and testing interventions, such as symptomatic and asymptomatic testing, isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine. These interventions can incorporate the effects of delays, loss-to-follow-up, micro-targeting, and other factors. Implemented in pure Python, Covasim has been designed with equal emphasis on performance, ease of use, and flexibility: realistic and highly customized scenarios can be run on a standard laptop in under a minute. In collaboration with local health agencies and policymakers, Covasim has already been applied to examine epidemic dynamics and inform policy decisions in more than a dozen countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2 , Systems Analysis , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 Vaccines , Computational Biology , Computer Simulation , Contact Tracing , Disease Progression , Hand Disinfection , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Masks , Mathematical Concepts , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Quarantine , Software
4.
Lancet HIV ; 7(9): e629-e640, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695906

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic could lead to disruptions to provision of HIV services for people living with HIV and those at risk of acquiring HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, where UNAIDS estimated that more than two-thirds of the approximately 38 million people living with HIV resided in 2018. We aimed to predict the potential effects of such disruptions on HIV-related deaths and new infections in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: In this modelling study, we used five well described models of HIV epidemics (Goals, Optima HIV, HIV Synthesis, an Imperial College London model, and Epidemiological MODeling software [EMOD]) to estimate the effect of various potential disruptions to HIV prevention, testing, and treatment services on HIV-related deaths and new infections in sub-Saharan Africa lasting 6 months over 1 year from April 1, 2020. We considered scenarios in which disruptions affected 20%, 50%, and 100% of the population. FINDINGS: A 6-month interruption of supply of antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs across 50% of the population of people living with HIV who are on treatment would be expected to lead to a 1·63 times (median across models; range 1·39-1·87) increase in HIV-related deaths over a 1-year period compared with no disruption. In sub-Saharan Africa, this increase amounts to a median excess of HIV deaths, across all model estimates, of 296 000 (range 229 023-420 000) if such a high level of disruption occurred. Interruption of ART would increase mother-to-child transmission of HIV by approximately 1·6 times. Although an interruption in the supply of ART drugs would have the largest impact of any potential disruptions, effects of poorer clinical care due to overstretched health facilities, interruptions of supply of other drugs such as co-trimoxazole, and suspension of HIV testing would all have a substantial effect on population-level mortality (up to a 1·06 times increase in HIV-related deaths over a 1-year period due to disruptions affecting 50% of the population compared with no disruption). Interruption to condom supplies and peer education would make populations more susceptible to increases in HIV incidence, although physical distancing measures could lead to reductions in risky sexual behaviour (up to 1·19 times increase in new HIV infections over a 1-year period if 50% of people are affected). INTERPRETATION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the primary priority for governments, donors, suppliers, and communities should focus on maintaining uninterrupted supply of ART drugs for people with HIV to avoid additional HIV-related deaths. The provision of other HIV prevention measures is also important to prevent any increase in HIV incidence. FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Subject(s)
Anti-HIV Agents/supply & distribution , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Africa South of the Sahara/epidemiology , Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use , Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active , COVID-19 , Condoms/supply & distribution , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Global Health/trends , HIV Infections/mortality , HIV Infections/transmission , HIV Infections/virology , HIV-1/drug effects , HIV-1/growth & development , Humans , Incidence , Infant, Newborn , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical/prevention & control , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical/statistics & numerical data , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Behavior/psychology , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Survival Analysis
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