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1.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; : 109544, 2022 Jun 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906942

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study examines individual-level factors associated with avoiding two important health services for people who use drugs-medications for treatment of opioid use disorder and syringe service programs-during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Data come from two subsamples of people who use drugs who were active participants in one of nine cohort studies in Vancouver, British Columbia; Baltimore, Maryland; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Miami, Florida. Participants were interviewed remotely about COVID-19-associated disruptions to healthcare. We estimated the association of demographic, social, and health factors with each outcome using logistic regression among 702 participants (medication analysis) and 304 participants (syringe service analysis.) Analyses were repeated, stratified by city of residence, to examine geographic variation in risk. RESULTS: There were large differences between cities in the prevalence of avoiding picking up medications for opioid use disorder, with almost no avoidance in Vancouver (3%) and nearly universal avoidance in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami (>90%). After accounting for between-city differences, no individual factors were associated with avoiding picking up medications. The only factor significantly associated with avoiding syringe service programs was higher levels of self-reported worry about COVID-19. CONCLUSION: During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, geographic differences in service and policy contexts likely influenced avoidance of health and harm reduction services by people who use drugs in the United States and Canada more than individual differences between people.

2.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; : 109382, 2022 Mar 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1828363

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic increased. People living with HIV or at risk for HIV acquisition often have psycho-social and structural barriers or co-occurring substance use making them vulnerable to the adverse effects of alcohol. We describe factors associated with alcohol use during the COVID-19 pandemic in this group. METHODS: From May 2020 to February 2021, 1984 people enrolled in 6 existing cohort studies completed surveys about alcohol and other drug use during the COVID-19 pandemic. We describe the past-month prevalence of no alcohol use, low-risk use, and hazardous use. We use multinomial regression to describe factors associated with low-risk or hazardous alcohol use relative to no alcohol use. RESULTS: Forty-five percent of participants reported no alcohol use, 33% low-risk use, and 22% hazardous use in the past 30 days. Cannabis and stimulant use were associated with a higher prevalence of low-risk use relative to no use. Tobacco, stimulant, cannabis use and recent overdose were associated with a higher prevalence of hazardous use relative to no use. Substance use treatment and living with HIV were associated with a lower prevalence of low-risk or hazardous use relative to no use. CONCLUSIONS: Stimulant use was strongly associated with a higher prevalence of hazardous alcohol use while engagement in substance use treatment or living with HIV was associated with a lower prevalence. Ascertaining hazardous alcohol and other drug use, particularly stimulants, in clinical care could identify people at higher risk for adverse outcome and harm reduction counseling.

3.
J Urban Health ; 99(2): 305-315, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803062

ABSTRACT

The objective was to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health care, cannabis use, and behaviors that increase the risk of STIs among men living with or at high risk for HIV. Data were from mSTUDY - a cohort of men who have sex with men in Los Angeles, California. Participants who were 18 to 45 years and a half were HIV-positive. mSTUDY started in 2014, and at baseline and semiannual visits, information was collected on substance use, mental health, and sexual behaviors. We analyzed data from 737 study visits from March 2020 through August 2021. Compared to visits prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were significant increases in depressive symptomatology (CES-D ≥ 16) and anxiety (GAD-7 ≥ 10). These increases were highest immediately following the start of the pandemic and reverted to pre-pandemic levels within 17 months. Interruptions in mental health care were associated with higher substance use (especially cannabis) for managing anxiety/depression related to the pandemic (50% vs. 31%; p-value < .01). Cannabis use for managing pandemic-related anxiety/depression was higher among those reporting changes in sexual activity (53% vs. 36%; p-value = 0.01) and was independently associated with having more than one sex partner in the prior 2 weeks (adjusted OR = 1.5; 95% CI 1.0-2.4). Our findings indicate increases in substance use, in particular cannabis, linked directly to experiences resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated interruptions in mental health care. Strategies that deliver services without direct client contact are essential for populations at high risk for negative sexual and mental health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cannabis , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Substance-Related Disorders , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/psychology , Homosexuality, Male/psychology , Humans , Los Angeles/epidemiology , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics
4.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 232: 109231, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768035

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, concerns were raised about the potential impact of pandemic-related social distancing measures on existing health disparities among sexual and gender minority (SGM) young adults, including HIV transmission risk and intimate partner violence (IPV). Another concern was the potential for increased methamphetamine use during the pandemic, which is a known risk factor for HIV transmission and IPV. METHODS: The present analysis examines the impact of COVID-19 social distancing (social distancing and quarantining) and methamphetamine use on HIV risk and IPV in a combined dataset from 3 cohort studies of SGM young adults (two in Los Angeles and one in Chicago) from May 2020 to April 2021 (n = 1142). Bivariate analyses and multivariable logistic regressions were estimated. RESULTS: The median age was 26. All participants were assigned male at birth and most participants were men (93.8%). The largest racial groups were Hispanic/Latinx (44.6%) and Black (29.0%). In adjusted models methamphetamine use was consistently associated with having a new sex partner, higher numbers of sex partners, and experience of IPV, during the pandemic. Reporting no social distancing and reporting one social distancing behavior, were associated with experience of IPV relative to reporting 2 social distancing behaviors. Social distancing was not associated with sexual risk behavior or Pre-exposure Prophylaxis use. CONCLUSIONS: SGM young adults live at the intersection of multiple vulnerabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Addiction services, HIV prevention services, and violence support services should be prepared to support young adult SGM needs, particularly those who use methamphetamine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intimate Partner Violence , Methamphetamine , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Infant, Newborn , Male , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
5.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; : 109355, 2022 Feb 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1676706

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the normal delivery of HIV care, altered social support networks, and caused economic insecurity. People with HIV (PWH) are vulnerable to such disruptions, particularly if they have a history of substance use. We describe engagement in care and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for PWH during the pandemic. METHODS: From May 2020 to February 2021, 773 PWH enrolled in 6 existing cohorts completed 1495 surveys about substance use and engagement in HIV care during the COVID-19 pandemic. We described the prevalence and correlates of having missed a visit with an HIV provider in the past month and having missed a dose of ART in the past week. RESULTS: Thirteen percent of people missed an HIV visit in the past month. Missing a visit was associated with unstable housing, food insecurity, anxiety, low resiliency, disruptions to mental health care, and substance use including cigarette smoking, hazardous alcohol use, cocaine, and cannabis use. Nineteen percent of people reported missing at least one dose of ART in the week prior to their survey. Missing a dose of ART was associated with being a man, low resiliency, disruptions to mental health care, cigarette smoking, hazardous alcohol use, cocaine, and cannabis use, and experiencing disruptions to substance use treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Social determinants of health, substance use, and disruptions to mental health and substance use treatment were associated with poorer engagement in HIV care. Close attention to continuity of care during times of social disruption is especially critical for PWH.

6.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(12)2021 Dec 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1614016

ABSTRACT

In this study, we evaluated the status of and attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination of healthcare workers in two major hospital systems (academic and private) in Southern California. Responses were collected via an anonymous and voluntary survey from a total of 2491 participants, including nurses, physicians, other allied health professionals, and administrators. Among the 2491 participants that had been offered the vaccine at the time of the study, 2103 (84%) were vaccinated. The bulk of the participants were middle-aged college-educated White (73%), non-Hispanic women (77%), and nursing was the most represented medical occupation (35%). Political affiliation, education level, and income were shown to be significant factors associated with vaccination status. Our data suggest that the current allocation of healthcare workers into dichotomous groups such as "anti-vaccine vs. pro-vaccine" may be inadequate in accurately tailoring vaccine uptake interventions. We found that healthcare workers that have yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine likely belong to one of four categories: the misinformed, the undecided, the uninformed, or the unconcerned. This diversity in vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers highlights the importance of targeted intervention to increase vaccine confidence. Regardless of governmental vaccine mandates, addressing the root causes contributing to vaccine hesitancy continues to be of utmost importance.

7.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 231: 109230, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587947

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted mental health, increasing rates of substance misuse. Resilience is a positive adaptation to stress that may act as a buffer against adverse mental health outcomes. Based on prior knowledge, we hypothesized that PLWH would display higher resilience than HIV-uninfected peers, and that high resilience would be associated with lower risk of substance misuse. METHODS: This analysis of the Collaborating Consortium of Cohorts Producing NIDA Opportunities (C3PNO) included data from six USA cohorts that administered a COVID-19-related survey with a 3-month follow-up during May 2020 and March 2021. All data was self-reported. The Brief Resilience Scale and General Anxiety Disorder-7 were utilized. Primary analyses consisted of multivariate generalized linear mixed models with random intercepts using binary logistic regression. RESULTS: A total of 1430 participants completed both surveys, of whom 670 (46.9%) were PLWH. PLWH had lower odds of anxiety (OR=0.67, 95% CI: 0.51-0.89) and higher odds of high resilience (OR=1.21, 95% CI: 1.02-1.44) than HIV-uninfected participants, adjusted for covariates. The presence of anxiety was associated with higher risk of misuse of all substances. High resilience was associated with lower risk of anxiety and misuse of substances, adjusted for covariates. CONCLUSIONS: Psychological resilience was associated with lower risk of anxiety and substance misuse, potentially serving as a buffer against poor mental and behavioral health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further research is needed to identify pathways of resilience in the context of substance misuse and comprehensive resilience-focused interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Resilience, Psychological , Substance-Related Disorders , Anxiety , Cohort Studies , Depression , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
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