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J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care ; 33(1): 9-21, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684876


ABSTRACT: Despite the availability of HIV prevention and treatment tools, HIV disparities continue to affect Latinx sexual minority men (LSMM). Behavioral health concerns further exacerbate HIV disparities among LSMM. This study used rapid qualitative analysis to understand factors influencing LSMM's access to HIV and behavioral health services during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Participants included LSMM with (n = 10) and without HIV (n = 10). The analysis identified 15 themes. Themes revealed that LSMM's access was disrupted by new and worsening barriers resulting from COVID-19, such as anxiety about COVID-19 exposure, confusion and disruptions to services, and new structural challenges. Other themes highlight positive changes, such as telehealth and relaxed clinic protocols, which enhanced LSMM's access to services during COVID-19. The findings suggest the need for HIV and behavioral health clinics to innovate and ensure LSMM's continued access to services during and beyond COVID-19.

COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Florida , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Health Services , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2
Lancet ; 397(10279): 1116-1126, 2021 03 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525995


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.

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
Ann LGBTQ Public Popul Health ; 2(2): 104-115, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523527


Latinx sexual minority men (LSMM) are at the intersection of two communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. To develop and deploy appropriate resources to support LSMM, it is important to understand the behavioral, psychosocial, and medical experiences of this population during COVID-19, as well as for LSMM of different immigration statuses. The current study uses the Pandemic Stress Index (PSI) to describe LSMM's self-reported behavioral, psychosocial, and medical experiences during COVID-19. Logistic and linear regressions compared experiences during COVID-19 among LSMM across different immigration statuses (recent, established, and US-born as the reference group). LSMM's responses to the PSI indicated they experienced anxiety (64.4%), depression (59.0%), alcohol/substance use (27.6%), as well as loneliness (50.1%) and sleep problems (60.4%). Overall, over half reported personal financial loss, the odds of which were 2.75 times greater among LSMM who were recent immigrants compared to US-born LSMM (OR = 2.75, 95% CI: 1.30, 5.82). Nearly 8% reported being diagnosed with COVID-19, with the odds four and a half times greater among established immigrants compared to US-born LSMM (OR = 4.52, 95% CI: 1.60, 12.81). The findings have implications for tailored support resources and public health interventions to reach LSMM in general and LSMM with immigration histories.

J Int AIDS Soc ; 24(8): e25771, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332985


INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 parallels HIV in many ways. Socio-behavioural science has been critical in elucidating the context and factors surrounding individual levels of engagement with known effective prevention and treatment tools for HIV, thus offering important lessons for ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. DISCUSSION: Non-adherence to effective disease mitigation strategies (e.g. condoms for HIV and masks for COVID-19) can be attributed in part to prioritizing comfort, convenience and individual autonomy over public health. Importantly, misinformation can fuel denialism and conspiracies that discredit scientific knowledge and motivate nonadherence. These preferences and the extent to which individuals can act on their preferences may be constrained by the structures and culture in which they live. Both HIV and COVID-19 have been politicized and influenced by evolving recommendations from scientists, clinicians, policymakers and politically motivated organizations. While vaccines are vital for ending both pandemics, their impact will depend on availability and uptake. Four decades of experience with the HIV epidemic have shown that information alone is insufficient to overcome these challenges; interventions must address the underlying, often complex factors that influence human behaviour. This article builds from socio-behavioural science theory and describes practical and successful approaches to enable and support adherence to prevention and treatment strategies, including vaccine adoption. Key methods include reframing tools to enhance motivation, promoting centralized sources of trusted information, strategic development and messaging with and within key populations (e.g. through social media) and appealing to self-empowerment, altruism and informed decision making. Orchestrated evidence-based activism is needed to overcome manipulative politicization, while consistent transparent messaging around scientific discoveries and clinical recommendations are critical for public acceptance and support. Ultimately, the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines will depend on our ability to engender trust in the communities most affected. CONCLUSIONS: Many lessons learned from socio-behavioural science in the HIV pandemic are applicable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual behaviour must be understood within its interpersonal and societal context to address the current barriers to adherence to disease-mitigating strategies and promote an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is likely to be endured for the foreseeable future.

COVID-19/psychology , Health Behavior , Pandemics/prevention & control , Behavioral Sciences , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
AIDS Behav ; 25(12): 4000-4007, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245665


Black women living with HIV (BWLWH) in the U.S. face microaggressions based on race, gender, HIV-status, and sexual orientation. We examined changes in daily microaggressions and related distress among 143 BWLWH in Miami, FL. Microaggression-related distress increased from 52% at baseline/October, peaked at 70% during the holidays (November/December), declined to 55% in March when COVID-19 social distancing began, and peaked to 83% in June/July 2020 during widespread Black Lives Matters protests. Baseline viral suppression was associated with lower microaggressions across the 9-months. Microaggression-related distress may change due to social context and research is needed on microaggressions and viral load overtime.

RESUMEN: Las mujeres de raza negra que viven con el VIH (MNVV) en los EE. UU. enfrentan microagresiones basadas en la raza, el género, el estado serológico del VIH y la orientación sexual. Examinamos los cambios en las microagresiones diarias y el estrés relacionado entre 143 MNVV en Miami, FL. El estrés relacionado con la microagresión aumentó del 52% en la línea de base/octubre, alcanzó un máximo del 70% durante las vacaciones (noviembre/diciembre), disminuyó al 55% en marzo cuando comenzó el distanciamiento social por el COVID-19 y alcanzó un máximo del 83% en junio/julio de 2020 durante las protestas generalizadas de Black Lives Matters. La supresión viral inicial se asoció con menores microagresiones durante los 9 meses. El estrés relacionada con la microagresión puede cambiar debido al contexto social y se necesitan investigaciones sobre las microagresiones y la carga viral con el tiempo.

COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Racism , Aggression , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
J Sex Res ; 58(8): 951-957, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1117170


COVID-19 led to substantial changes in individuals' lives due to preventive measures, including social distancing and "stay at home" orders. One type of social interaction likely impacted is intimacy and sexual relationships. Sexual minority men have long navigated the impact of another pandemic, HIV, on their sexual lives. This study explored the impact of COVID-19 on Latinx sexual minority men's (LSMM) sexual behaviors in South Florida, an HIV and COVID-19 epicenter. A rapid qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews with LSMM (N = 20) revealed five themes: (1) increased sex with a primary partner, (2) fewer sexual partners, (3) continued pre-COVID-19 sexual activity, often following "quarantine fatigue," (4) opportunities and challenges related to navigating COVID-19 prevention and sex, and (5) using sexual networking apps in new ways. The findings suggest LSMM's resilience and their ongoing health needs during COVID-19, with implications for interventions to promote LSMM's safe and satisfying sex.

COVID-19 , Sexual Behavior , Sexual Partners/psychology , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Florida/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Safe Sex , Unsafe Sex , Young Adult
AIDS Behav ; 24(7): 2017-2023, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-66480