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1.
Sex Transm Dis ; 49(3): 208-215, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1672425

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is known regarding human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing preferences for location, staffing, and hours of operation among Young Black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) in the Southeastern United States, a population at high risk for HIV/STIs. We used a discrete choice experiment to explore these preferences. METHODS: Young Black men who have sex with men ages 16 to 35 years in Birmingham, AL and Jackson, MS completed online surveys evaluating their preferences (best/worst) for HIV/STI testing locations, staffing, hours, method of results notification, and cost. They also selected preferred combinations of these variables through choice tasks. Results were analyzed using joint best/worst and discrete choice experiment models. RESULTS: Between June 2018 and December 2019, participants in Alabama (n = 54) and Mississippi (n = 159) completed online surveys. Both groups preferred stationary testing locations over mobile testing vans, with the most significant difference favoring STI testing-only clinics in Mississippi and local health departments in Alabama (P < 0.001). Technician-performed tests or self-testing were significantly less preferred compared with clinician-performed testing for both groups (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Free testing and phone results notification (versus text) were preferred by both groups. The most desirable combination among all participants was weekday clinician-performed testing at the health department for $5. CONCLUSIONS: Young Black men who have sex with men in the Southeastern United States prefer traditional testing locations staffed by experienced personnel. Combination choices are influenced by services that are low or no cost. More research is needed to inform the best way(s) to provide affordable, high-quality HIV/STI testing services for YBMSM, particularly in the post-COVID-19 era when sexual health care delivery models are evolving toward home-based and remote health-focused strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Adolescent , Adult , HIV , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Southeastern United States , Young Adult
2.
Lancet ; 397(10279): 1116-1126, 2021 03 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525995

ABSTRACT

Men who have sex with men (MSM) in the USA were the first population to be identified with AIDS and continue to be at very high risk of HIV acquisition. We did a systematic literature search to identify the factors that explain the reasons for the ongoing epidemic in this population, using a social-ecological perspective. Common features of the HIV epidemic in American MSM include role versatility and biological, individual, and social and structural factors. The high-prevalence networks of some racial and ethnic minority men are further concentrated because of assortative mixing, adverse life experiences (including high rates of incarceration), and avoidant behaviour because of negative interactions with the health-care system. Young MSM have additional risks for HIV because their impulse control is less developed and they are less familiar with serostatus and other risk mitigation discussions. They might benefit from prevention efforts that use digital technologies, which they often use to meet partners and obtain health-related information. Older MSM remain at risk of HIV and are the largest population of US residents with chronic HIV, requiring culturally responsive programmes that address longer-term comorbidities. Transgender MSM are an understudied population, but emerging data suggest that some are at great risk of HIV and require specifically tailored information on HIV prevention. In the current era of pre-exposure prophylaxis and the undetectable equals untransmittable campaign, training of health-care providers to create culturally competent programmes for all MSM is crucial, since the use of antiretrovirals is foundational to optimising HIV care and prevention. Effective control of the HIV epidemic among all American MSM will require scaling up programmes that address their common vulnerabilities, but are sufficiently nuanced to address the specific sociocultural, structural, and behavioural issues of diverse subgroups.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male/statistics & numerical data , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/drug therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Anti-Retroviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , HIV Infections/transmission , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Minority Groups/psychology , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/methods , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sexual Behavior/psychology , Sexual Partners/psychology , Transgender Persons/psychology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
3.
Sex Transm Dis ; 49(3): 208-215, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429368

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Little is known regarding human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing preferences for location, staffing, and hours of operation among Young Black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) in the Southeastern United States, a population at high risk for HIV/STIs. We used a discrete choice experiment to explore these preferences. METHODS: Young Black men who have sex with men ages 16 to 35 years in Birmingham, AL and Jackson, MS completed online surveys evaluating their preferences (best/worst) for HIV/STI testing locations, staffing, hours, method of results notification, and cost. They also selected preferred combinations of these variables through choice tasks. Results were analyzed using joint best/worst and discrete choice experiment models. RESULTS: Between June 2018 and December 2019, participants in Alabama (n = 54) and Mississippi (n = 159) completed online surveys. Both groups preferred stationary testing locations over mobile testing vans, with the most significant difference favoring STI testing-only clinics in Mississippi and local health departments in Alabama (P < 0.001). Technician-performed tests or self-testing were significantly less preferred compared with clinician-performed testing for both groups (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Free testing and phone results notification (versus text) were preferred by both groups. The most desirable combination among all participants was weekday clinician-performed testing at the health department for $5. CONCLUSIONS: Young Black men who have sex with men in the Southeastern United States prefer traditional testing locations staffed by experienced personnel. Combination choices are influenced by services that are low or no cost. More research is needed to inform the best way(s) to provide affordable, high-quality HIV/STI testing services for YBMSM, particularly in the post-COVID-19 era when sexual health care delivery models are evolving toward home-based and remote health-focused strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Adolescent , Adult , HIV , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Southeastern United States , Young Adult
4.
AIDS Behav ; 26(Suppl 1): 100-111, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366371

ABSTRACT

African Americans in the southern United States continue to be disproportionately affected by HIV. Although faith-based organizations (FBOs) play important roles in the social fabric of African American communities, few HIV screening, care, and PrEP promotion efforts harness the power of FBOs. We conducted 11 focus groups among 57 prominent African American clergy from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. We explored clergy knowledge about the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America (EHE); normative recommendations for how clergy can contribute to EHE; and how clergy can enhance the HIV care continua and PrEP. We explored how clergy have responded to the COVID-19 crisis, and lessons learned from pandemic experiences that are relevant for HIV programs. Clergy reported a moral obligation to participate in the response to the HIV epidemic and were willing to support efforts to expand HIV screening, treatment, PrEP and HIV care. Few clergy were familiar with EHE, U = U and TasP. Many suggested developing culturally tailored messages and were willing to lend their voices to social marketing efforts to destigmatize HIV and promote uptake of biomedical interventions. Nearly all clergy believed technical assistance with biomedical HIV prevention and care interventions would enhance their ability to create partnerships with local community health centers. Partnering with FBOs presents important and unique opportunities to reduce HIV disparities. Clergy want to participate in the EHE movement and need federal resources and technical assistance to support their efforts to bridge community activities with biomedical prevention and care programs related to HIV. The COVID-19 pandemic presents opportunities to build important infrastructure related to these goals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , African Americans , Clergy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
5.
South Med J ; 114(3): 144-149, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1115579

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe the demographics, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of hospitalized adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in an academic medical center in the southern United States. METHODS: Retrospective, observational cohort study of all adult patients (18 years and older) consecutively admitted with laboratory-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 infection between March 13 and April 25, 2020 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. All of the patients either survived to hospital discharge or died during hospitalization. Demographics, body mass index, comorbidities, clinical manifestations, and laboratory findings were collected. Patient outcomes (need for invasive mechanical ventilation and in-hospital death) were analyzed. RESULTS: One hundred patients were included, 53% of whom were women. Median age was 59 years (interquartile range 44-70) and 66% were younger than 65. Seventy-five percent identified themselves as Black, despite representing 58% of hospitalized patients at our institution in 2019. Common comorbid conditions included hypertension (68%), obesity (65%), and diabetes mellitus (31%). Frequent clinical manifestations included shortness of breath (76%), cough (75%), and fever (64%). Symptoms were present for a median of 7 days (interquartile range 4-7) on presentation. Twenty-four percent of patients required mechanical ventilation and, overall, 19% died (67% of those requiring mechanical ventilation). Eighty-four percent of those who died were Black. On multivariate analysis, ever smoking (odds ratio [OR] 5.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-28.6) and history of diabetes mellitus (OR 5.9, 95% CI 1.5-24.3) were associated with mortality, and those admitted from home were less likely to die (vs outside facility, OR 0.2, 95% CI 0.0-0.7). Neither age, sex, race, body mass index, insurance status, nor rural residence was independently associated with mortality. CONCLUSIONS: Our study adds evidence that Black patients appear to be overrepresented in those hospitalized with and those who die from COVID-19, likely a manifestation of adverse social determinants of health. These findings should help guide preventive interventions targeting groups at higher risk of acquiring and developing severe COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Academic Medical Centers , Adult , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , Aged , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mississippi , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , /statistics & numerical data
6.
Ann Epidemiol ; 52: 46-53.e2, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023435

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to ascertain COVID-19 transmission dynamics among Latino communities nationally. METHODS: We compared predictors of COVID-19 cases and deaths between disproportionally Latino counties (≥17.8% Latino population) and all other counties through May 11, 2020. Adjusted rate ratios (aRRs) were estimated using COVID-19 cases and deaths via zero-inflated binomial regression models. RESULTS: COVID-19 diagnoses rates were greater in Latino counties nationally (90.9 vs. 82.0 per 100,000). In multivariable analysis, COVID-19 cases were greater in Northeastern and Midwestern Latino counties (aRR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.11-1.84, and aRR: 1.70, 95% CI: 1.57-1.85, respectively). COVID-19 deaths were greater in Midwestern Latino counties (aRR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.04-1.34). COVID-19 diagnoses were associated with counties with greater monolingual Spanish speakers, employment rates, heart disease deaths, less social distancing, and days since the first reported case. COVID-19 deaths were associated with household occupancy density, air pollution, employment, days since the first reported case, and age (fewer <35 yo). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 risks and deaths among Latino populations differ by region. Structural factors place Latino populations and particularly monolingual Spanish speakers at elevated risk for COVID-19 acquisition.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Health Status Disparities , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Local Government , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Population Surveillance , Residence Characteristics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
7.
Ann Epidemiol ; 47: 37-44, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-260620

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Given incomplete data reporting by race, we used data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in U.S. counties to describe racial disparities in COVID-19 disease and death and associated determinants. Methods: Using publicly available data (accessed April 13, 2020), predictors of COVID-19 cases and deaths were compared between disproportionately (≥13%) black and all other (<13% black) counties. Rate ratios were calculated, and population attributable fractions were estimated using COVID-19 cases and deaths via zero-inflated negative binomial regression model. National maps with county-level data and an interactive scatterplot of COVID-19 cases were generated. Results: Nearly 90% of disproportionately black counties (656/677) reported a case and 49% (330/677) reported a death versus 81% (1987/2465) and 28% (684/2465), respectively, for all other counties. Counties with higher proportions of black people have higher prevalence of comorbidities and greater air pollution. Counties with higher proportions of black residents had more COVID-19 diagnoses (Rate Ratio (RR): 1.24, 95% confidence interval: 1.17-1.33) and deaths (RR: 1.18, 95% confidence interval: 1.00-1.40), after adjusting for county-level characteristics such as age, poverty, comorbidities, and epidemic duration. COVID-19 deaths were higher in disproportionally black rural and small metro counties. The population attributable fraction of COVID-19 diagnosis due to lack of health insurance was 3.3% for counties with less than 13% black residents and 4.2% for counties with greater than or equal to 13% black residents. Conclusions: Nearly 20% of U.S. counties are disproportionately black, and they accounted for 52% of COVID-19 diagnoses and 58% of COVID-19 deaths nationally. County-level comparisons can both inform COVID-19 responses and identify epidemic hot spots. Social conditions, structural racism, and other factors elevate risk for COVID-19 diagnoses and deaths in black communities.


Subject(s)
African Americans/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus , Health Status Disparities , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Rural Population , SARS-CoV-2
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