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1.
PLoS Med ; 19(3): e1003930, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793652

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Low syphilis testing uptake is a major public health issue among men who have sex with men (MSM) in many low- and middle-income countries. Syphilis self-testing (SST) may complement and extend facility-based testing. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and costs of providing SST on increasing syphilis testing uptake among MSM in China. METHODS AND FINDINGS: An open-label, parallel 3-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted between January 7, 2020 and July 17, 2020. Men who were at least 18 years of age, had condomless anal sex with men in the past year, reported not testing for syphilis in the last 6 months, and had a stable residence with mailing addresses were recruited from 124 cities in 26 Chinese provinces. Using block randomization with blocks of size 12, enrolled participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1) into 3 arms: standard of care arm, standard SST arm, and lottery incentivized SST arm (1 in 10 chance to win US$15 if they had a syphilis test). The primary outcome was the proportion of participants who tested for syphilis during the trial period and confirmed with photo verification and between arm comparisons were estimated with risk differences (RDs). Analyses were performed on a modified intention-to-treat basis: Participants were included in the complete case analysis if they had initiated at least 1 follow-up survey. The Syphilis/HIV Duo rapid test kit was used. A total of 451 men were enrolled. In total, 136 (90·7%, 136/150) in the standard of care arm, 142 (94·0%, 142/151) in the standard of SST arm, and 137 (91·3%, 137/150) in the lottery incentivized SST arm were included in the final analysis. The proportion of men who had at least 1 syphilis test during the trial period was 63.4% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 55.5% to 71.3%, p = 0.001) in the standard SST arm, 65.7% (95% CI: 57.7% to 73.6%, p = 0.0002) in the lottery incentivized SST arm, and 14.7% (95% CI: 8.8% to 20.7%, p < 0.001) in the standard of care arm. The estimated RD between the standard SST and standard of care arm was 48.7% (95% CI: 37.8% to 58.4%, p < 0.001). The majority (78.5%, 95% CI: 72.7% to 84.4%, p < 0.001) of syphilis self-testers reported never testing for syphilis. The cost per person tested was US$26.55 for standard SST, US$28.09 for the lottery incentivized SST, and US$66.19 for the standard of care. No study-related adverse events were reported during the study duration. Limitation was that the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions may have accentuated demand for decentralized testing. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to standard of care, providing SST significantly increased the proportion of MSM testing for syphilis in China and was cheaper (per person tested). TRIAL REGISTRATION: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry: ChiCTR1900022409.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections/diagnosis , Homosexuality, Male , Patient Participation/methods , Self-Testing , Syphilis/diagnosis , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Follow-Up Studies , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Homosexuality, Male/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Male , Mass Screening/economics , Mass Screening/methods , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Middle Aged , Motivation , Pandemics , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/economics , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/supply & distribution , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual and Gender Minorities/statistics & numerical data , Syphilis/epidemiology , Syphilis/prevention & control , Young Adult
2.
PLoS Med ; 19(2): e1003928, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686091

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital network-based methods may enhance peer distribution of HIV self-testing (HIVST) kits, but interventions that can optimize this approach are needed. We aimed to assess whether monetary incentives and peer referral could improve a secondary distribution program for HIVST among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Between October 21, 2019 and September 14, 2020, a 3-arm randomized controlled, single-blinded trial was conducted online among 309 individuals (defined as index participants) who were assigned male at birth, aged 18 years or older, ever had male-to-male sex, willing to order HIVST kits online, and consented to take surveys online. We randomly assigned index participants into one of the 3 arms: (1) standard secondary distribution (control) group (n = 102); (2) secondary distribution with monetary incentives (SD-M) group (n = 103); and (3) secondary distribution with monetary incentives plus peer referral (SD-M-PR) group (n = 104). Index participants in 3 groups were encouraged to order HIVST kits online and distribute to members within their social networks. Members who received kits directly from index participants or through peer referral links from index MSM were defined as alters. Index participants in the 2 intervention groups could receive a fixed incentive ($3 USD) online for the verified test result uploaded to the digital platform by each unique alter. Index participants in the SD-M-PR group could additionally have a personalized peer referral link for alters to order kits online. Both index participants and alters needed to pay a refundable deposit ($15 USD) for ordering a kit. All index participants were assigned an online 3-month follow-up survey after ordering kits. The primary outcomes were the mean number of alters motivated by index participants in each arm and the mean number of newly tested alters motivated by index participants in each arm. These were assessed using zero-inflated negative binomial regression to determine the group differences in the mean number of alters and the mean number of newly tested alters motivated by index participants. Analyses were performed on an intention-to-treat basis. We also conducted an economic evaluation using microcosting from a health provider perspective with a 3-month time horizon. The mean number of unique tested alters motivated by index participants was 0.57 ± 0.96 (mean ± standard deviation [SD]) in the control group, compared with 0.98 ± 1.38 in the SD-M group (mean difference [MD] = 0.41),and 1.78 ± 2.05 in the SD-M-PR group (MD = 1.21). The mean number of newly tested alters motivated by index participants was 0.16 ± 0.39 (mean ± SD) in the control group, compared with 0.41 ± 0.73 in the SD-M group (MD = 0.25) and 0.57 ± 0.91 in the SD-M-PR group (MD = 0.41), respectively. Results indicated that index participants in intervention arms were more likely to motivate unique tested alters (control versus SD-M: incidence rate ratio [IRR = 2.98, 95% CI = 1.82 to 4.89, p-value < 0.001; control versus SD-M-PR: IRR = 3.26, 95% CI = 2.29 to 4.63, p-value < 0.001) and newly tested alters (control versus SD-M: IRR = 4.22, 95% CI = 1.93 to 9.23, p-value < 0.001; control versus SD-M-PR: IRR = 3.49, 95% CI = 1.92 to 6.37, p-value < 0.001) to conduct HIVST. The proportion of newly tested testers among alters was 28% in the control group, 42% in the SD-M group, and 32% in the SD-M-PR group. A total of 18 testers (3 index participants and 15 alters) tested as HIV positive, and the HIV reactive rates for alters were similar between the 3 groups. The total costs were $19,485.97 for 794 testers, including 450 index participants and 344 alter testers. Overall, the average cost per tester was $24.54, and the average cost per alter tester was $56.65. Monetary incentives alone (SD-M group) were more cost-effective than monetary incentives with peer referral (SD-M-PR group) on average in terms of alters tested and newly tested alters, despite SD-M-PR having larger effects. Compared to the control group, the cost for one more alter tester in the SD-M group was $14.90 and $16.61 in the SD-M-PR group. For newly tested alters, the cost of one more alter in the SD-M group was $24.65 and $49.07 in the SD-M-PR group. No study-related adverse events were reported during the study. Limitations include the digital network approach might neglect individuals who lack internet access. CONCLUSIONS: Monetary incentives alone and the combined intervention of monetary incentives and peer referral can promote the secondary distribution of HIVST among MSM. Monetary incentives can also expand HIV testing by encouraging first-time testing through secondary distribution by MSM. This social network-based digital approach can be expanded to other public health research, especially in the era of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). TRIAL REGISTRATION: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR) ChiCTR1900025433.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Testing/instrumentation , Homosexuality, Male , Reimbursement, Incentive , Self-Testing , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Adult , China , Costs and Cost Analysis , HIV Testing/economics , HIV Testing/methods , Humans , Male
3.
Front Psychol ; 12: 773510, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594815

ABSTRACT

Background: Though many literatures documented burnout and occupational hazard among healthcare workers and frontliners during pandemic, not many adopted a systemic approach to look at the resilience among this population. Another under-studied population was the large numbers of global healthcare workers who have been deployed to tackle the crisis of COVID-19 pandemic in the less resourceful regions. We investigated both the mental wellbeing risk and protective factors of a deployed healthcare workers (DHWs) team in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak during 2020. Method: A consensual qualitative research approach was adopted with 25 DHWs from H province through semi-structured interviews after 3 months of deployment period. Results: Inductive-Deductive thematic coding with self-reflexivity revealed multi-layered risk and protective factors for DHWs at the COVID-19 frontline. Intensive working schedule and high-risk environment, compounded by unfamiliar work setting and colleagues; local culture adaptation; isolation from usual social circle, strained the DHWs. Meanwhile, reciprocal relationships and "familial relatedness" with patients and colleagues; organizational support to the DHWs and their immediate families back home, formed crucial wellbeing resources in sustaining the DHWs. The dynamic and dialectical relationships between risk and protective factors embedded in multiple layers of relational contexts could be mapped into a socio-ecological framework. Conclusion: Our multidisciplinary study highlights the unique social connectedness between patient-DHWs; within DHWs team; between deploying hospital and DHWs; and between DHWs and the local partners. We recommend five organizational strategies as mental health promotion and capacity building for DHWs to build a resilient network and prevent burnout at the disaster frontline.

4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(23)2021 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554891

ABSTRACT

The social measures taken to control the COVID-19 pandemic can potentially disrupt the management of HIV. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of the Australian COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV in Melbourne. Using data from the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC), we assessed the changes in rates of ART postal delivery, controlled viral load, and ART dispensing from 2018 to 2020. The percentage of ART delivered by postage from the MSHC pharmacy was calculated weekly. The percentage of people living with HIV with a controlled viral load (≤200 copies/mL) was calculated monthly. We calculated a yearly Medication Possession Ratio (MPR). The average percentage of HIV ART dispensed through postage for the years 2018, 2019, and 2020 was 3.7% (371/10,023), 3.6% (380/10,685), and 14% (1478/10,765), respectively (Ptrend < 0.0001). Of the 3115 people living with HIV, the average MPR for 2018, 2019, and 2020 was 1.05, 1.06, and 1.14, respectively (Ptrend = 0.28). The average percentage of people with an HIV viral load of <200 copies/mL for the years 2018, 2019, and 2020 was 97.6% (2271/2327), 98.0% (2390/2438), and 99.2% (2048/2064), respectively (Ptrend < 0.0001). This study found that the proportion of controlled viral load and access to ART of people living with HIV in Melbourne was largely unaffected by the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. This suggests that some of the services provided by the MSHC during the pandemic, such as HIV ART postal delivery, may assist long-term HIV management.


Subject(s)
Anti-HIV Agents , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use , Australia/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
5.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(20)2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470849

ABSTRACT

Australia introduced a national lockdown on 22 March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Melbourne, but not Sydney, had a second COVID-19 lockdown between July and October 2020. We compared the number of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) prescriptions, HIV tests, and new HIV diagnoses during these lockdown periods. The three outcomes in 2020 were compared to 2019 using incidence rate ratio. There was a 37% and 46% reduction in PEP prescriptions in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively, with a larger reduction during lockdown (68% and 57% reductions in Melbourne's first and second lockdown, 60% reduction in Sydney's lockdown). There was a 41% and 32% reduction in HIV tests in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively, with a larger reduction during lockdown (57% and 61% reductions in Melbourne's first and second lockdowns, 58% reduction in Sydney's lockdown). There was a 44% and 47% reduction in new HIV diagnoses in Melbourne and Sydney, respectively, but no significant reductions during lockdown. The reduction in PEP prescriptions, HIV tests, and new HIV diagnoses during the lockdown periods could be due to the reduction in the number of sexual partners during that period. It could also result in more HIV transmission due to substantial reductions in HIV prevention measures during COVID-19 lockdowns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Australia/epidemiology , Cities , Communicable Disease Control , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , Post-Exposure Prophylaxis , SARS-CoV-2
6.
BMJ Open ; 11(10): e052823, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462970

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The incidence of Neisseria gonorrhoeae and its antimicrobial resistance is increasing in many countries. Antibacterial mouthwash may reduce gonorrhoea transmission without using antibiotics. We modelled the effect that antiseptic mouthwash may have on the incidence of gonorrhoea. DESIGN: We developed a mathematical model of the transmission of gonorrhoea between each anatomical site (oropharynx, urethra and anorectum) in men who have sex with men (MSM). We constructed four scenarios: (1) mouthwash had no effect; (2) mouthwash increased the susceptibility of the oropharynx; (3) mouthwash reduced the transmissibility from the oropharynx; (4) the combined effect of mouthwash from scenarios 2 and 3. SETTING: We used data at three anatomical sites from 4873 MSM attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre in 2018 and 2019 to calibrate our models and data from the USA, Netherlands and Thailand for sensitivity analyses. PARTICIPANTS: Published available data on MSM with multisite infections of gonorrhoea. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of gonorrhoea. RESULTS: The overall incidence of gonorrhoea was 44 (95% CI 37 to 50)/100 person-years (PY) in scenario 1. Under scenario 2 (20%-80% mouthwash coverage), the total incidence increased (47-60/100 PY) and at all three anatomical sites by between 7.4% (5.9%-60.8%) and 136.6% (108.1%-177.5%). Under scenario 3, with the same coverage, the total incidence decreased (20-39/100 PY) and at all anatomical sites by between 11.6% (10.2%-13.5%) and 99.8% (99.2%-100%). Under scenario 4, changes in the incidence depended on the efficacy of mouthwash on the susceptibility or transmissibility. The effect on the total incidence varied (22-55/100 PY), and at all anatomical sites, there were increases of nearly 130% and large declines of almost 100%. CONCLUSIONS: The effect of mouthwash on gonorrhoea incidence is largely predictable depending on whether it increases susceptibility to or reduces the transmissibility of gonorrhoea.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents, Local , Gonorrhea , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Gonorrhea/epidemiology , Gonorrhea/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Incidence , Male , Models, Theoretical , Mouthwashes , Neisseria gonorrhoeae
7.
Aust N Z J Public Health ; 45(6): 622-627, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388134

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Examine the changes in service delivery Australian public sexual health clinics made to remain open during lockdown. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey designed and delivered on Qualtrics was emailed to 21 directors of public sexual health clinics across Australia from July-August 2020 and asked about a variety of changes to service delivery. Descriptive statistics were calculated. RESULTS: Twenty clinics participated, all remained open and reported service changes, including suspension of walk-in services in eight clinics. Some clinics stopped offering asymptomatic screening for varying patient populations. Most clinics transitioned to a mix of telehealth and face-to-face consultations. Nineteen clinics reported delays in testing and 13 reported limitations in testing. Most clinics changed to phone consultations for HIV medication refills (n=15) and eleven clinics prescribed longer repeat prescriptions. Fourteen clinics had staff redeployed to assist the COVID-19 response. CONCLUSION: Public sexual health clinics pivoted service delivery to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission in clinical settings, managed staffing reductions and delays in molecular testing, and maintained a focus on urgent and symptomatic STI presentations and those at higher risk of HIV/STI acquisition. Implications for public health: Further research is warranted to understand what impact reduced asymptomatic screening may have had on community STI transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Australia/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Health Services , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
9.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 24(5): e25737, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242728

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: HIV self-testing (HIVST) is a useful strategy to promote HIV testing among key populations. This study aimed to understand HIV testing behaviours among men who have sex with men (MSM) and specifically how HIVST was used during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) measures in China when access to facility-based testing was limited. METHODS: An online cross-sectional study was conducted to recruit men who have sex with men (MSM) in China from May to June of 2020, a period when COVID-19 measures were easing. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, sexual behaviours and HIV testing in the three months before and during COVID-19 measures (23 January 2020) were collected. Chi-square test and logistic regression were used for analyses. RESULTS: Overall, 685 MSM were recruited from 135 cities in 30 provinces of China, whose mean age was 28.8 (SD: 6.9) years old. The majority of participants self-identified as gay (81.9%) and had disclosed their sexual orientation (66.7%). In the last three months, 69.6% ever had sex with men, nearly half of whom had multiple sexual partners (47.2%). Although the overall HIV testing rates before and during COVID-19 measures were comparable, more MSM self-tested for HIV during COVID-19 measures (52.1%) compared to before COVID-19 measures (41.6%, p = 0.038). Fewer MSM used facility-based HIV testing during COVID-19 measures (42.9%) compared to before COVID-19 measures (54.1%, p = 0.038). Among 138 facility-based testers before COVID-19 measures, 59.4% stopped facility-based testing during COVID-19 measures. Among 136 self-testers during COVID-19 measures, 58.1% had no HIV self-testing before COVID-19 measures. Multivariable logistic regression showed that having sex with other men in the last three months (adjusted odds ratio, aOR = 2.04, 95% CI: 1.38 to 3.03), self-identifying as gay (aOR = 2.03, 95% CI: 1.31 to 3.13), ever disclosing their sexual orientation (aOR = 1.72, 95% CI: 1.19 to 2.50) and tested for HIV in three months before COVID-19 measures (aOR = 4.74, 95% CI: 3.35 to 6.70) were associated with HIV testing during COVID-19 measures. CONCLUSIONS: Facility-based HIV testing decreased and HIVST increased among MSM during COVID-19 measures in China. MSM successfully accessed HIVST as substitute for facility-based testing, with no overall decrease in HIV testing rates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Testing , Homosexuality, Male , Self-Testing , Adult , China , Cross-Sectional Studies , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Partners
10.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 24(4): e25697, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168893

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting HIV care globally, with gaps in HIV treatment expected to increase HIV transmission and HIV-related mortality. We estimated how COVID-19-related disruptions could impact HIV transmission and mortality among men who have sex with men (MSM) in four cities in China, over a one- and five-year time horizon. METHODS: Regional data from China indicated that the number of MSM undergoing facility-based HIV testing reduced by 59% during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside reductions in ART initiation (34%), numbers of all sexual partners (62%) and consistency of condom use (25%), but initial data indicated no change in viral suppression. A mathematical model of HIV transmission/treatment among MSM was used to estimate the impact of disruptions on HIV infections/HIV-related deaths. Disruption scenarios were assessed for their individual and combined impact over one and five years for 3/4/6-month disruption periods, starting from 1 January 2020. RESULTS: Our model predicted new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths would be increased most by disruptions to viral suppression, with 25% reductions (25% virally suppressed MSM stop taking ART) for a three-month period increasing HIV infections by 5% to 14% over one year and deaths by 7% to 12%. Observed reductions in condom use increased HIV infections by 5% to 14% but had minimal impact (<1%) on deaths. Smaller impacts on infections and deaths (<3%) were seen for disruptions to facility HIV testing and ART initiation, but reduced partner numbers resulted in 11% to 23% fewer infections and 0.4% to 1.0% fewer deaths. Longer disruption periods (4/6 months) amplified the impact of disruption scenarios. When realistic disruptions were modelled simultaneously, an overall decrease in new HIV infections occurred over one year (3% to 17%), but not for five years (1% increase to 4% decrease), whereas deaths mostly increased over one year (1% to 2%) and five years (1.2 increase to 0.3 decrease). CONCLUSIONS: The overall impact of COVID-19 on new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths is dependent on the nature, scale and length of the various disruptions. Resources should be directed to ensuring levels of viral suppression and condom use are maintained to mitigate any adverse effects of COVID-19-related disruption on HIV transmission and control among MSM in China.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , SARS-CoV-2 , China/epidemiology , HIV Infections/transmission , Humans , Male , Safe Sex
11.
Sex Health ; 18(1): 1-4, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146516

ABSTRACT

The Asia-Pacific region is home to nearly 6 million people living with HIV. Across the region, key populations - men who have sex with men, transgender women, people who inject drugs, sex workers, prisoners - and their sexual partners make up the majority of those living with HIV. While significant progress has been made in the past 5 years towards UNAIDS's 90-90-90 goals (90% of people with HIV diagnosed, 90% on antiretroviral therapy, 90% virologically suppressed), significant gaps remain. The papers in this Special Issue address important questions: are we on track to end the AIDS epidemic in the Asia-Pacific region? And can countries in this region reach the new UNAIDS targets for 2030?


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/drug therapy , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/epidemiology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/prevention & control , Asia/epidemiology , Female , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , Policy
12.
BMC Pulm Med ; 21(1): 64, 2021 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1102335

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to identify high-risk factors for disease progression and fatality for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. METHODS: We enrolled 2433 COVID-19 patients and used LASSO regression and multivariable cause-specific Cox proportional hazard models to identify the risk factors for disease progression and fatality. RESULTS: The median time for progression from mild-to-moderate, moderate-to-severe, severe-to-critical, and critical-to-death were 3.0 (interquartile range: 1.8-5.5), 3.0 (1.0-7.0), 3.0 (1.0-8.0), and 6.5 (4.0-16.3) days, respectively. Among 1,758 mild or moderate patients at admission, 474 (27.0%) progressed to a severe or critical stage. Age above 60 years, elevated levels of blood glucose, respiratory rate, fever, chest tightness, c-reaction protein, lactate dehydrogenase, direct bilirubin, and low albumin and lymphocyte count were significant risk factors for progression. Of 675 severe or critical patients at admission, 41 (6.1%) died. Age above 74 years, elevated levels of blood glucose, fibrinogen and creatine kinase-MB, and low plateleta count were significant risk factors for fatality. Patients with elevated blood glucose level were 58% more likely to progress and 3.22 times more likely to die of COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: Older age, elevated glucose level, and clinical indicators related to systemic inflammatory responses and multiple organ failures, predict both the disease progression and the fatality of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Blood Glucose/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/mortality , Disease Progression , Hyperglycemia/blood , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Bilirubin/blood , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , China/epidemiology , Critical Illness , Female , Fever/virology , Humans , Hyperglycemia/complications , L-Lactate Dehydrogenase/blood , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Serum Albumin/metabolism , Time Factors
13.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr ; 86(2): 153-156, 2021 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1050219

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A second wave of COVID-19 began in late June in Victoria, Australia. Stage 3 then Stage 4 restrictions were introduced in July-August. This study aimed to compare the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and sexual practices among men who have sex with men taking PrEP between May-June (post-first lockdown) and July-August (second lockdown). METHODS: This was an online survey conducted among men who have sex with men who had their PrEP managed at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Australia. A short message service with a link to the survey was sent to 503 PrEP clients who provided consent to receive a short message service from Melbourne Sexual Health Centre in August 2020. RESULTS: Of the 192 participants completed the survey, 153 (80%) did not change how they took PrEP. Of the 136 daily PrEP users, 111 (82%) continued to take daily PrEP, 3 (2%) switched to on-demand PrEP, and 22 (16%) stopped PrEP in July-August. Men generally reported that they had no partners or decreased sexual activities during second lockdown compared with post-first lockdown; the number of casual sex partners (43% decreased vs. 3% increased) and the number of kissing partners (36% decreased vs. 3% increased). Most men reported no chemsex (79%) or group sex (77%) in May-August. 10% (13/127) of men had ever worn face masks during sex in May-August. CONCLUSION: During the second wave of COVID-19 in Victoria, most men did not change the way they used PrEP but the majority had no risks or reduced sexual practices while one in 10 men wore a face mask during sex.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Homosexuality, Male/statistics & numerical data , Masks , Safe Sex , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Australia , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
15.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(1): ofaa536, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-900466

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to examine the impact of lockdown on sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnoses and access to a public sexual health service during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Melbourne, Australia. METHODS: The operating hours of Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC) remained the same during the lockdown. We examined the number of consultations and STIs at MSHC between January and June 2020 and stratified the data into prelockdown (February 3 to March 22), lockdown (March 23 to May 10), and postlockdown (May 11 to June 28), with 7 weeks in each period. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using Poisson regression models. RESULTS: The total number of consultations dropped from 7818 in prelockdown to 4652 during lockdown (IRR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.57-0.62) but increased to 5347 in the postlockdown period (IRR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.11-1.20). There was a 68% reduction in asymptomatic screening during lockdown (IRR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.30-0.35), but it gradually increased during the postlockdown period (IRR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.46-1.74). Conditions with milder symptoms showed a marked reduction, including nongonococcal urethritis (IRR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.51-0.72) and candidiasis (IRR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.49-0.76), during lockdown compared with prelockdown. STIs with more marked symptoms did not change significantly, including pelvic inflammatory disease (IRR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.61-1.47) and infectious syphilis (IRR, 1.14; 95% CI, 0.73-1.77). There was no significant change in STI diagnoses during postlockdown compared with lockdown. CONCLUSIONS: The public appeared to be prioritizing their attendance for sexual health services based on the urgency of their clinical conditions. This suggests that the effectiveness of clinical services in detecting, treating, and preventing onward transmission of important symptomatic conditions is being mainly preserved despite large falls in absolute numbers of attendees.

16.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 7(7): ofaa275, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-843483

ABSTRACT

We surveyed 204 men who have sex with men (MSM) who were pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users. One in 4 daily PrEP users stopped taking PrEP during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 5% switched to on-demand PrEP. Most men reduced PrEP use because they stopped having casual sex and reduced the number of casual partners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

19.
Int J Infect Dis ; 97: 219-224, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-636709

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The mostly-resolved first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in China provided a unique opportunity to investigate how the initial characteristics of the COVID-19 outbreak predict its subsequent magnitude. METHODS: We collected publicly available COVID-19 epidemiological data from 436 Chinese cities from 16th January-15th March 2020. Based on 45 cities that reported >100 confirmed cases, we examined the correlation between early-stage epidemic characteristics and subsequent epidemic magnitude. RESULTS: We identified a transition point from a slow- to a fast-growing phase for COVID-19 at 5.5 (95% CI, 4.6-6.4) days after the first report, and 30 confirmed cases marked a critical threshold for this transition. The average time for the number of confirmed cases to increase from 30 to 100 (time from 30-to-100) was 6.6 (5.3-7.9) days, and the average case-fatality rate in the first 100 confirmed cases (CFR-100) was 0.8% (0.2-1.4%). The subsequent epidemic size per million population was significantly associated with both of these indicators. We predicted a ranking of epidemic size in the cities based on these two indicators and found it highly correlated with the actual classification of epidemic size. CONCLUSIONS: Early epidemic characteristics are important indicators for the size of the entire epidemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Cities/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Epidemics , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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