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1.
J Urban Health ; 2022 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1623272

ABSTRACT

Black communities have had a high burden of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and death, yet rates of COVID-19 vaccine uptake among Blacks lag behind other demographic groups. This has been due in part to vaccine hesitancy and multi-level issues around access to COVID-19 vaccines. Effective strategies to promote vaccine uptake among Black communities are needed. To perform a rapid review covering December 2020-August 2021, our search strategy used PubMed, Google, and print media with a prescribed set of definitions and search terms for two reasons: there were limited peer-reviewed studies during the early period of vaccine roll-out and real-time perspectives were crucially needed. Analyses included expert opinion, descriptions of implemented projects, and project outcomes. The strategies described in these reports largely converged into three categories: (a) addressing mistrust, (b) combatting misinformation, and (c) improving access to COVID-19 vaccines. When working to reduce hesitancy, it is important to consider messaging content, messengers, and location. To address mistrust, reports detailed the importance of communicating through trusted channels, validating the real, history- and experience-based reasons why people may be hesitant to establish common ground, and addressing racism embedded within the healthcare system. To combat misinformation, strategies included dispelling myths and answering questions through town halls and culturally intelligent outreach. Black physicians and clinicians are considered trusted messengers and partnering with community leaders such as pastors can help to reach more people. The settings of vaccination sites should be convenient and trusted such as churches, barbershops, and community sites. While a number of individual and combination efforts have been developed and implemented, data that disentangle components that are the most effective are sparse. This rapid review provides a basis for developing strategic implementation to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake in this ongoing pandemic and planning to promote health equity for future bio-events and health crises.

2.
J Urban Health ; 2021 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588744

ABSTRACT

Black and Hispanic Americans have been hardest hit with COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, yet during the first several months of vaccine roll-out they had the lowest level of vaccine uptake. Primarily, our research on vaccine hesitancy focused on skepticism around the vaccine itself and its roll-out. Our search strategy used PUBMED and Google with a prescribed set of definitions and search terms for two reasons: there were limited peer-reviewed studies during early period of roll-out and real-time perspectives were crucially needed. Literature searches occurred in April 2021and covered September 2020-April 2021. Analyses included expert opinion, survey results and qualitative summaries. Overall, for the general U.S. population, there was considerable hesitancy initially that remained high during the early roll-out. The general population expressed concerns over the speed of vaccine development ("warp speed"), confidence in the competence of government being involved in the development of vaccines and general mistrust of government. Among Black and Hispanic Americans, hesitancy was further expressed as mistrust in the medical establishment that was related to past and current medical mistreatment. Undocumented immigrants worried about access to insurance and possible deportation. These results on confidence in the vaccine early during vaccine roll-out suggest diverse reasons that influence a person's decision to vaccinate or not. Additional barriers to vaccine uptake include complacency and access. To ensure health equity, particularly to address disparities in morbidity and mortality, vaccine hesitancy needs to be acknowledged and addressed as COVID-19 vaccine roll-out continues, and these observations calls for conscious planning to address these issues early with future health crises.

3.
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
5.
BMJ Open ; 10(7):e036259-e036259, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-662271

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: African, Caribbean and Black (ACB) communities are disproportionately infected by HIV in Ontario, Canada. They constitute only 5% of the population of Ontario yet account for 25% of new diagnoses of HIV. The aim of this study is to understand underlying factors that augment the HIV risk in ACB communities and to inform policy and practice in Ontario. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a cross-sectional study of first-generation and second-generation ACB adults aged 15-64 in Toronto (n=1000) and Ottawa (n=500) and collect data on sociodemographic information, sexual behaviours, substance use, blood donation, access and use of health services and HIV-related care. We will use dried blood spot testing to determine the incidence and prevalence of HIV infection among ACB people, and link participant data to administrative databases to investigate health service access and use. Factors associated with key outcomes (HIV infection, testing behaviours, knowledge about HIV transmission and acquisition, HIV vulnerability, access and use of health services) will be evaluated using generalised linear mixed models, adjusted for relevant covariates. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study has been reviewed and approved by the following Research Ethics Boards: Toronto Public Health, Ottawa Public Health, Laurentian University;the University of Ottawa and the University of Toronto. Our findings will be disseminated as community reports, fact sheets, digital stories, oral and poster presentations, peer-reviewed manuscripts and social media.

6.
Ann Epidemiol ; 47: 1-3, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-260024

ABSTRACT

Black communities in the United States are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and the underlying conditions that exacerbate its negative consequences. Syndemic theory provides a useful framework for understanding how such interacting epidemics develop under conditions of health and social disparity. Multiple historical and present-day factors have created the syndemic conditions within which black Americans experience the lethal force of COVID-19. These factors include racism and its manifestations (e.g., chattel slavery, mortgage redlining, political gerrymandering, lack of Medicaid expansion, employment discrimination, and health care provider bias). Improving racial disparities in COVID-19 will require that we implement policies that address structural racism at the root of these disparities.


Subject(s)
African Americans , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Health Status Disparities , Healthcare Disparities/ethnology , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Syndemic , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Racism , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology
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