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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.
Contemp Clin Trials ; 118: 106783, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821167

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Community Health Centers (CHCs) are a critical source of care for low-income and non-privately insured populations. During the pandemic, CHCs have leveraged their infrastructure and role as a trusted source of care to engage the communities they serve in COVID-19 testing. METHODS: To directly address the impact that COVID-19 has had on historically marginalized populations in Massachusetts, we designed a study of community-engaged COVID-19 testing expansion: (1) leveraging existing partnerships to accelerate COVID-19 testing and rapidly disseminate effective implementation strategies; (2) incorporating efforts to address key barriers to testing participation in communities at increased risk for COVID-19; (3) further developing partnerships between communities and CHCs to address testing access and disparities; (4) grounding the study in the development of a shared ethical framework for advancing equity in situations of scarcity; and (5) developing mechanisms for communication and science translation to support community outreach. We use a controlled interrupted time series design, comparing number of COVID-19 tests overall and among people identified as members of high-risk groups served by intervention CHCs compared with six matched control CHCs in Massachusetts, followed by a stepped wedge design to pilot test strategies for tailored outreach by CHCs. CONCLUSIONS: Here, we describe a community-partnered strategy to accelerate COVID-19 testing in historically marginalized populations that provides ongoing resources to CHCs for addressing testing needs in their communities. The study aligns with principles of community-engaged research including shared leadership, adequate resources for community partners, and the flexibility to respond to changing needs over time.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Community Health Centers , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Massachusetts/epidemiology
3.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(Suppl 2): S170-S176, 2021 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387773

ABSTRACT

It is generally agreed that striking a balance between resuming economic and social activities and keeping the effective reproductive number (R0) below 1 using nonpharmaceutical interventions is an important goal until and even after effective vaccines become available. Therefore, the need remains to understand how the virus is transmitted in order to identify high-risk environments and activities that disproportionately contribute to its spread so that effective preventative measures could be put in place. Contact tracing and household studies, in particular, provide robust evidence about the parameters of transmission. In this Viewpoint, we discuss the available evidence from large-scale, well-conducted contact-tracing studies from across the world and argue that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission dynamics should inform policy decisions about mitigation strategies for targeted interventions according to the needs of the society by directing attention to the settings, activities, and socioeconomic factors associated with the highest risks of transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Basic Reproduction Number , Contact Tracing , Humans , Policy
4.
J Infect Dis ; 223(6): 1019-1028, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155785

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The global COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to indirectly impact transmission dynamics and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). It is unknown what combined impact reductions in sexual activity and interruptions in HIV/STI services will have on HIV/STI epidemic trajectories. METHODS: We adapted a model of HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia for a population of approximately 103 000 men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Atlanta area. Model scenarios varied the timing, overlap, and relative extent of COVID-19-related sexual distancing and service interruption within 4 service categories (HIV screening, preexposure prophylaxis, antiretroviral therapy, and STI treatment). RESULTS: A 50% relative decrease in sexual partnerships and interruption of all clinical services, both lasting 18 months, would generally offset each other for HIV (total 5-year population impact for Atlanta MSM, -227 cases), but have net protective effect for STIs (-23 800 cases). If distancing lasted only 3 months but service interruption lasted 18 months, the total 5-year population impact would be an additional 890 HIV cases and 57 500 STI cases. CONCLUSIONS: Immediate action to limit the impact of service interruptions is needed to address the indirect effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the HIV/STI epidemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial/epidemiology , Georgia/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Incidence , Male , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , Sexual Partners , Sexual and Gender Minorities
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 72(4): 724-725, 2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091256
6.
J Infect Dis ; 223(6): 1019-1028, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1052200

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The global COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to indirectly impact transmission dynamics and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). It is unknown what combined impact reductions in sexual activity and interruptions in HIV/STI services will have on HIV/STI epidemic trajectories. METHODS: We adapted a model of HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia for a population of approximately 103 000 men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Atlanta area. Model scenarios varied the timing, overlap, and relative extent of COVID-19-related sexual distancing and service interruption within 4 service categories (HIV screening, preexposure prophylaxis, antiretroviral therapy, and STI treatment). RESULTS: A 50% relative decrease in sexual partnerships and interruption of all clinical services, both lasting 18 months, would generally offset each other for HIV (total 5-year population impact for Atlanta MSM, -227 cases), but have net protective effect for STIs (-23 800 cases). If distancing lasted only 3 months but service interruption lasted 18 months, the total 5-year population impact would be an additional 890 HIV cases and 57 500 STI cases. CONCLUSIONS: Immediate action to limit the impact of service interruptions is needed to address the indirect effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the HIV/STI epidemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Bacterial/epidemiology , Georgia/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Incidence , Male , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , Sexual Partners , Sexual and Gender Minorities
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
9.
medRxiv ; 2020 Oct 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-835252

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The global COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to indirectly impact the transmission dynamics and prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). Studies have already documented reductions in sexual activity ("sexual distancing") and interruptions in HIV/STI services, but it is unknown what combined impact these two forces will have on HIV/STI epidemic trajectories. METHODS: We adapted a network-based model of co-circulating HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia for a population of approximately 103,000 men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Atlanta area. Model scenarios varied the timing, overlap, and relative extent of COVID-related sexual distancing in casual and one-time partnership networks and service interruption within four service categories (HIV screening, HIV PrEP, HIV ART, and STI treatment). RESULTS: A 50% relative decrease in sexual partnerships and interruption of all clinical services, both lasting 18 months, would generally offset each other for HIV (total 5-year population impact for Atlanta MSM: -227 cases), but have net protective effect for STIs (-23,800 cases). Greater relative reductions and longer durations of service interruption would increase HIV and STI incidence, while greater relative reductions and longer durations of sexual distancing would decrease incidence of both. If distancing lasted only 3 months but service interruption lasted 18 months, the total 5-year population impact would be an additional 890 HIV cases and 57,500 STI cases. CONCLUSIONS: The counterbalancing impact of sexual distancing and clinical service interruption depends on the infection and the extent and durability of these COVID-related changes. If sexual behavior rebounds while service interruption persists, we project an excess of hundreds of HIV cases and thousands of STI cases just among Atlanta MSM over the next 5 years. Immediate action to limit the impact of service interruptions is needed to address the indirect effects of the global COVID pandemic on the HIV/STI epidemic.

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