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BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 901, 2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225767


BACKGROUND: HIV services, like many medical services, have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are limited data on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV treatment engagement outcomes among transgender (trans) and nonbinary people. This study addresses a pressing knowledge gap and is important in its global scope, its use of technology for recruitment, and focus on transgender people living with HIV. The objective of this study is to examine correlates of HIV infection and HIV treatment engagement outcomes (i.e., currently on ART, having an HIV provider, having access to HIV treatment without burden, and remote refills) since the COVID-19 pandemic began. METHODS: We utilized observational data from the Global COVID-19 Disparities Survey 2020, an online study that globally sampled trans and nonbinary people (n = 902) between April and August 2020. We conducted a series of multivariable logistic regressions with lasso selection to explore correlates of HIV treatment engagement outcomes in the context of COVID-19. RESULTS: Of the 120 (13.3%) trans and nonbinary people living with HIV in this survey, the majority (85.8%) were currently on HIV treatment. A smaller proportion (69.2%) reported having access to an HIV provider since COVID-19 control measures were implemented. Less than half reported being able to access treatment without burdens related to COVID-19 (48.3%) and having the ability to remotely refill HIV prescription (44.2%). After adjusting for gender in the multivariable models, younger age and anticipated job loss were significantly associated with not having access to HIV treatment without burden. Outcomes also significantly varied by geographic region, with respondents reporting less access to an HIV provider in nearly every region outside of South-East Asia. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that currently taking ART, having access to an HIV provider, and being able to access HIV treatment without burden and remotely refill HIV medication are suboptimal among trans and nonbinary people living with HIV across the world. Strengthening support for HIV programs that are well-connected to trans and nonbinary communities, increasing remote access to HIV providers and prescription refills, and providing socioeconomic support could significantly improve HIV engagement in trans and nonbinary communities.

COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Transgender Persons , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(3)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146196


BACKGROUND: We characterised the impact of COVID-19 on the socioeconomic conditions, access to gender affirmation services and mental health outcomes in a sample of global transgender (trans) and non-binary populations. METHODS: Between 16 April 2020 and 3 August 2020, we conducted a cross-sectional survey with a global sample of trans and non-binary people (n=849) through an online social networking app. We conducted structural equational modelling procedures to determine direct, indirect and overall effects between poor mental health (ie, depression and anxiety) and latent variables across socioecological levels: social (ie, reduction in gender affirming services, socioeconomic loss impact) and environmental factors (ie, COVID-19 pandemic environment). RESULTS: Anxiety (45.82%) and depression (50.88%) in this sample were prevalent and directly linked to COVID-19 pandemic environment. Adjusted for gender identity, age, migrant status, region, education and level of socioeconomic status, our final model showed significant positive associations between relationships of (1) COVID-19 pandemic environment and socioeconomic loss impact (ß=0.62, p<0.001), (2) socioeconomic loss impact and reduction in gender affirming services (ß=0.24, p<0.05) and (3) reduction in gender affirming services and poor mental health (ß=0.19, p<0.05). Moreover, socioeconomic loss impact and reduction in gender affirming services were found to be partial mediators in this model. CONCLUSION: The study results supported the importance of bolstering access to gender affirming services and strengthening socioeconomic opportunities and programmatic support to buffer the impact of COVID-19 pandemic environment on poor mental health among trans and non-binary communities globally.

COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics/economics , Transgender Persons/psychology , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Latent Class Analysis , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media , Socioeconomic Factors