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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 4637, 2022 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751759

ABSTRACT

Social distancing measures are effective in reducing overall community transmission but much remains unknown about how they have impacted finer-scale dynamics. In particular, much is unknown about how changes of contact patterns and other behaviors including adherence to social distancing, induced by these measures, may have impacted finer-scale transmission dynamics among different age groups. In this paper, we build a stochastic age-specific transmission model to systematically characterize the degree and variation of age-specific transmission dynamics, before and after lifting the lockdown in Georgia, USA. We perform Bayesian (missing-)data-augmentation model inference, leveraging reported age-specific case, seroprevalence and mortality data. We estimate that overall population-level transmissibility was reduced to 41.2% with 95% CI [39%, 43.8%] of the pre-lockdown level in about a week of the announcement of the shelter-in-place order. Although it subsequently increased after the lockdown was lifted, it only bounced back to 62% [58%, 67.2%] of the pre-lockdown level after about a month. We also find that during the lockdown susceptibility to infection increases with age. Specifically, relative to the oldest age group (> 65+), susceptibility for the youngest age group (0-17 years) is 0.13 [0.09, 0.18], and it increases to 0.53 [0.49, 0.59] for 18-44 and 0.75 [0.68, 0.82] for 45-64. More importantly, our results reveal clear changes of age-specific susceptibility (defined as average risk of getting infected during an infectious contact incorporating age-dependent behavioral factors) after the lockdown was lifted, with a trend largely consistent with reported age-specific adherence levels to social distancing and preventive measures. Specifically, the older groups (> 45) (with the highest levels of adherence) appear to have the most significant reductions of susceptibility (e.g., post-lockdown susceptibility reduced to 31.6% [29.3%, 34%] of the estimate before lifting the lockdown for the 6+ group). Finally, we find heterogeneity in case reporting among different age groups, with the lowest rate occurring among the 0-17 group (9.7% [6.4%, 19%]). Our results provide a more fundamental understanding of the impacts of stringent lockdown measures, and finer evidence that other social distancing and preventive measures may be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 transmission. These results may be exploited to guide more effective implementations of these measures in many current settings (with low vaccination rate globally and emerging variants) and in future potential outbreaks of novel pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physical Distancing , Adolescent , Age Factors , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Child, Preschool , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies
2.
JMIR Res Protoc ; 11(2): e35590, 2022 Feb 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686343

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) suffer from alarmingly high rates of HIV in the United States. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can reduce the risk of HIV infection by 99% among men who have sex with men, yet profound racial disparities in the uptake of PrEP persist. Low PrEP uptake in BMSM is driven by poor access to PrEP, including inconvenient locations of PrEP-prescribing physicians, distrust of physicians, and stigma, which limit communication about PrEP and its side effects. Previous work indicates that offering HIV prevention services in pharmacies located in low-income, underserved neighborhoods is feasible and can reduce stigma because pharmacies offer a host of less stigmatized health services (eg, vaccinations). We present a protocol for a pharmacy PrEP model that seeks to address challenges and barriers to pharmacy-based PrEP specifically for BMSM. OBJECTIVE: We aim to develop a sustainable pharmacy PrEP delivery model for BMSM that can be implemented to increase PrEP access in low-income, underserved neighborhoods. METHODS: This study design is a pilot intervention to test a pharmacy PrEP delivery model among pharmacy staff and BMSM. We will examine the PrEP delivery model's feasibility, acceptability, and safety and gather early evidence of its impact and cost with respect to PrEP uptake. A mixed-methods approach will be performed, including three study phases: (1) a completed formative phase with qualitative interviews from key stakeholders; (2) a completed transitional pilot phase to assess customer eligibility and willingness to receive PrEP in pharmacies during COVID-19; and (3) a planned pilot intervention phase which will test the delivery model in 2 Atlanta pharmacies in low-income, underserved neighborhoods. RESULTS: Data from the formative phase showed strong support of pharmacy-based PrEP delivery among BMSM, pharmacists, and pharmacy staff. Important factors were identified to facilitate the implementation of PrEP screening and dissemination in pharmacies. During the transitional pilot phase, we identified 81 individuals who would have been eligible for the pilot phase. CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacies have proven to be a feasible source for offering PrEP for White men who have sex with men but have failed to reach the most at-risk, vulnerable population (ie, BMSM). Increasing PrEP access and uptake will reduce HIV incidence and racial inequities in HIV. Translational studies are required to build further evidence and scale pharmacy-based PrEP services specifically for populations that are disconnected from HIV prevention resources. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/35590.

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
4.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(8): ofab379, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526178

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: California has reported the largest number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases of any US state, with more than 3.5 million confirmed as of March 2021. However, the full breadth of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in California is unknown as reported cases only represent a fraction of all infections. METHODS: We conducted a population-based serosurvey, utilizing mailed, home-based SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing along with a demographic and behavioral survey. We weighted data from a random sample to represent the adult California population and estimated period seroprevalence overall and by participant characteristics. Seroprevalence estimates were adjusted for waning antibodies to produce statewide estimates of cumulative incidence, the infection fatality ratio (IFR), and the reported fraction. RESULTS: California's SARS-CoV-2 weighted seroprevalence during August-December 2020 was 4.6% (95% CI, 2.8%-7.4%). Estimated cumulative incidence as of November 2, 2020, was 8.7% (95% CrI, 6.4%-11.5%), indicating that 2 660 441 adults (95% CrI, 1 959 218-3 532 380) had been infected. The estimated IFR was 0.8% (95% CrI, 0.6%-1.0%), and the estimated percentage of infections reported to the California Department of Public Health was 31%. Disparately high risk for infection was observed among persons of Hispanic/Latinx ethnicity and people with no health insurance and who reported working outside the home. CONCLUSIONS: We present the first statewide SARS-CoV-2 cumulative incidence estimate among adults in California. As of November 2020, ~1 in 3 SARS-CoV-2 infections in California adults had been identified by public health surveillance. When accounting for unreported SARS-CoV-2 infections, disparities by race/ethnicity seen in case-based surveillance persist.

5.
AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses ; 2021 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486408

ABSTRACT

The HIV Research for Prevention (HIVR4P) conference catalyzes knowledge sharing on biomedical HIV prevention interventions such as HIV vaccines, antibody infusions, pre-exposure prophylaxis, and microbicides in totality-from the molecular details and delivery formulations to the behavioral, social, and structural underpinnings. HIVR4P // Virtual was held over the course of 2 weeks on January 27-28 and February 3-4, 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to inflict unprecedented harm globally. The HIVR4P community came together with 1,802 researchers, care providers, policymakers, implementers, and advocates from 92 countries whose expertise spanned the breadth of the HIV prevention pipeline from preclinical to implementation. The program included 113 oral and 266 poster presentations. This article presents a brief summary of the conference highlights. Complete abstracts, webcasts, and daily rapporteur summaries may be found on the conference website (https://www.hivr4p.org/).

7.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(38): 1322-1325, 2021 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436413

ABSTRACT

During 2019, approximately 34,800 new HIV infections occurred in the United States (1), and it is estimated that approximately 80% of HIV transmission occurs from persons who either do not know they have HIV infection or are not receiving regular care (2). Since 2006, CDC has recommended that persons who are disproportionately affected by HIV (including men who have sex with men [MSM]) should test for HIV at least annually (3,4). However, data from multiple sources indicate that these recommendations are not being fully implemented (5,6). TakeMeHome, a novel public-private partnership to deliver HIV self-testing kits to persons seeking HIV testing in the United States, was launched during March 2020 as home care options for testing became increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiation of the program coincided with the national COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration, issuance of stay-at-home orders, and other restrictions that led to disruption of traditional HIV testing services. During March 31, 2020-March 30, 2021, 17 state and local health departments participating in the program allowed residents of their jurisdictions to order test kits. Marketing for TakeMeHome focused on reaching gay, bisexual, and MSM through messages and embedded links in gay dating applications. Most participants in the program reported that they had either never tested for HIV (36%) or that they had last tested >1 year before receiving their self-test kit (56%). After receiving the self-test kit, >10% of respondents reported accessing additional prevention services. Health departments can increase options for HIV testing by distributing publicly funded self-test kits to persons without proximate access to clinic-based testing or who prefer to test at home. Increased and regular HIV testing among MSM will help meet annual testing goals.


Subject(s)
Direct-To-Consumer Screening and Testing , HIV Testing/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Self-Testing , Adolescent , Adult , Female , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Testing/methods , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
8.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0249740, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403293

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Central to measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV is understanding the role of loss of access to essential HIV prevention and care services created by clinic and community-based organization closures. In this paper, we use a comprehensive list of HIV prevention services in four corridors of the US heavily impacted by HIV, developed as part of a large RCT, to illustrate the potential impact of service closure on LGBTQ+ youth. METHODS: We identified and mapped LGBTQ+ friendly services offering at least one of the following HIV-related services: HIV testing; STI testing; PrEP/PEP; HIV treatment and care; and other HIV-related services in 109 counties across four major interstate corridors heavily affected by HIV US Census regions: Pacific (San Francisco, CA to San Diego, CA); South-Atlantic (Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA); East-North-Central (Chicago, IL to Detroit, MI); and East-South-Central (Memphis, TN to New Orleans, LA). RESULTS: There were a total of 831 LGBTQ+ youth-friendly HIV service providers across the 109 counties. There was a range of LGBTQ+ youth-friendly HIV-service provider availability across counties (range: 0-14.33 per 10,000 youth aged 13-24 (IQR: 2.13), median: 1.09); 9 (8.26%) analyzed counties did not have any LGBTQ+ youth-friendly HIV service providers. The Pearson correlation coefficient for the correlation between county HIV prevalence and LGBTQ+ youth-friendly HIV service provider density was 0.16 (p = 0.09), suggesting only a small, non-statistically significant linear relationship between a county's available LGBTQ+ youth-friendly HIV service providers and their HIV burden. CONCLUSIONS: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we must find novel, affordable ways to continue to provide sexual health, mental health and other support services to LGBTQ+ youth.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/methods , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics , Sexual and Gender Minorities/education , Adolescent , Adult , Humans , Prevalence , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
10.
Ann Epidemiol ; 63: 75-78, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363868

ABSTRACT

In the effort to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission, public health agencies in the United States and globally are aiming to increase population immunity. Immunity through vaccination and acquired following recovery from natural infection are the two means to build up population immunity, with vaccination being the safe pathway. However, measuring the contribution to population immunity from vaccination or natural infection is non-trivial. Historical COVID-19 case counts and vaccine coverage are necessary information but are not sufficient to approximate population immunity. Here, we consider the nuances of measuring each and propose an analytical framework for integrating the necessary data on cumulative vaccinations and natural infections at the state and national level. To guide vaccine roll-out and other aspects of control over the coming months, we recommend analytics that combine vaccine coverage with local (e.g. county-level) history of case reports and adjustment for waning antibodies to establish local estimates of population immunity. To do so, the strategic use of minimally-biased serology surveys integrated with vaccine administration data can improve estimates of the aggregate level of immunity to guide data-driven decisions to re-open safely and prioritize vaccination efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Public Health , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination
11.
Sex Transm Dis ; 48(8S): S66-S70, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1315723

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite advances in implementing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted infection (STI) services for men who have sex with men (MSM), many remain underserved because of barriers like stigma, low facility coverage, and provider competency. This article describes the implementation of centralized nationwide mailed HIV/STI home testing (CareKit). METHODS: The Emory Center for AIDS Research developed CareKit for research study participants to request HIV self-test kits, STI specimen collection kits, and condom/lubricant packs to be shipped to any mailing address in the United States. Sexually transmitted infection kits were customized according to study needs and could include materials to collect whole blood, dried blood spots, urine sample, and rectal and pharyngeal swab samples for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia testing. Specimens were mailed back to a central Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-approved laboratory for testing, and results were returned to participants. RESULTS: CareKit was used by 12 MSM studies and mailed 1132 STI kits to 775 participants between January 2018 and March 2020. Participants returned 507 (45%) STI kits, which included 1594 individual specimens. Eighty-one kits (16%) had at least one positive STI test result: pharyngeal chlamydia (n = 7), pharyngeal gonorrhea (n = 11), rectal chlamydia (n = 15), rectal gonorrhea (n = 12), genital chlamydia (n = 6), genital gonorrhea (n = 1), and syphilis (n = 54). In this same 2-year period, 741 HIV self-test kits were mailed to 643 MSM. CONCLUSIONS: CareKit successfully met studies' needs for home HIV/STI testing and diagnosed many STIs. These processes continue to be adapted for research and programs. The ability to mail home test kits has become increasingly important to reach those who may have limited access to health care services, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chlamydia Infections , Gonorrhea , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Syphilis , Chlamydia Infections/diagnosis , Chlamydia Infections/epidemiology , Gonorrhea/diagnosis , Gonorrhea/epidemiology , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Syphilis/epidemiology , United States
12.
Epidemiology ; 32(4): 518-524, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1211432

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Serology tests can identify previous infections and facilitate estimation of the number of total infections. However, immunoglobulins targeting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been reported to wane below the detectable level of serologic assays (which is not necessarily equivalent to the duration of protective immunity). We estimate the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection from serology studies, accounting for expected levels of antibody acquisition (seroconversion) and waning (seroreversion), and apply this framework using data from New York City and Connecticut. METHODS: We estimated time from seroconversion to seroreversion and infection fatality ratio (IFR) using mortality data from March to October 2020 and population-level cross-sectional seroprevalence data from April to August 2020 in New York City and Connecticut. We then estimated the daily seroprevalence and cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: The estimated average time from seroconversion to seroreversion was 3-4 months. The estimated IFR was 1.1% (95% credible interval, 1.0%, 1.2%) in New York City and 1.4% (1.1, 1.7%) in Connecticut. The estimated daily seroprevalence declined after a peak in the spring. The estimated cumulative incidence reached 26.8% (24.2%, 29.7%) at the end of September in New York City and 8.8% (7.1%, 11.3%) in Connecticut, higher than maximum seroprevalence measures (22.1% and 6.1%), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection is underestimated using cross-sectional serology data without adjustment for waning antibodies. Our approach can help quantify the magnitude of underestimation and adjust estimates for waning antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Connecticut/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Incidence , New York City , Seroepidemiologic Studies
13.
Lancet ; 397(10279): 1151-1156, 2021 03 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087331

ABSTRACT

With more than 1·2 million people living with HIV in the USA, a complex epidemic across the large and diverse country, and a fragmented health-care system marked by widening health disparities, the US HIV epidemic requires sustained scientific and public health attention. The epidemic has been stubbornly persistent; high incidence densities have been sustained over decades and the epidemic is increasingly concentrated among racial, ethnic, and sexual and gender minority communities. This fact remains true despite extraordinary scientific advances in prevention, treatment, and care-advances that have been led, to a substantial degree, by US-supported science and researchers. In this watershed year of 2021 and in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that the USA will not meet the stated goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, particularly those goals relating to reductions in new infections, decreases in morbidity, and reductions in HIV stigma. The six papers in the Lancet Series on HIV in the USA have each examined the underlying causes of these challenges and laid out paths forward for an invigorated, sustained, and more equitable response to the US HIV epidemic than has been seen to date. The sciences of HIV surveillance, prevention, treatment, and implementation all suggest that the visionary goals of the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative in the USA might be achievable. However, fundamental barriers and challenges need to be addressed and the research effort sustained if we are to succeed.


Subject(s)
Epidemics/prevention & control , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Health Plan Implementation/organization & administration , Public Health Administration , Epidemiological Monitoring , HIV Infections/therapy , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data , Sexual and Gender Minorities/statistics & numerical data , Social Stigma
14.
Ann Epidemiol ; 52: 46-53.e2, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023435

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to ascertain COVID-19 transmission dynamics among Latino communities nationally. METHODS: We compared predictors of COVID-19 cases and deaths between disproportionally Latino counties (≥17.8% Latino population) and all other counties through May 11, 2020. Adjusted rate ratios (aRRs) were estimated using COVID-19 cases and deaths via zero-inflated binomial regression models. RESULTS: COVID-19 diagnoses rates were greater in Latino counties nationally (90.9 vs. 82.0 per 100,000). In multivariable analysis, COVID-19 cases were greater in Northeastern and Midwestern Latino counties (aRR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.11-1.84, and aRR: 1.70, 95% CI: 1.57-1.85, respectively). COVID-19 deaths were greater in Midwestern Latino counties (aRR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.04-1.34). COVID-19 diagnoses were associated with counties with greater monolingual Spanish speakers, employment rates, heart disease deaths, less social distancing, and days since the first reported case. COVID-19 deaths were associated with household occupancy density, air pollution, employment, days since the first reported case, and age (fewer <35 yo). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 risks and deaths among Latino populations differ by region. Structural factors place Latino populations and particularly monolingual Spanish speakers at elevated risk for COVID-19 acquisition.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Health Status Disparities , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Local Government , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Population Surveillance , Residence Characteristics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
15.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 7(7): ofaa269, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-846130

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 virus testing for persons with COVID-19 symptoms, and contact tracing for those testing positive, will be critical to successful epidemic control. Willingness of persons experiencing symptoms to seek testing may determine the success of this strategy. METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey in the United States measured willingness to seek testing if feeling ill under different specimen collection scenarios: home-based saliva, home-based swab, drive-through facility swab, and clinic-based swab. Instructions clarified that home-collected specimens would be mailed to a laboratory for testing. We presented similar willingness questions regarding testing during follow-up care. RESULTS: Of 1435 participants, comprising a broad range of sociodemographic groups, 92% were willing to test with a home saliva specimen, 88% with home swab, 71% with drive-through swab, and 60% with clinic-collected swab. Moreover, 68% indicated they would be more likely to get tested if there was a home testing option. There were no significant differences in willingness items across sociodemographic variables or for those currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Results were nearly identical for willingness to receive testing for follow-up COVID-19 care. CONCLUSIONS: We observed a hierarchy of willingness to test for SARS-CoV-2, ordered by the degree of contact required. Home specimen collection options could result in up to one-third more symptomatic persons seeking testing, facilitating contact tracing and optimal clinical care. Remote specimen collection options may ease supply chain challenges and decrease the likelihood of nosocomial transmission. As home specimen collection options receive regulatory approval, they should be scaled rapidly by health systems.

17.
Ann Epidemiol ; 49: 50-60, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-703961

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The U.S. response to the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic has been hampered by early and ongoing delays in testing for infection; without data on where infections were occurring and the magnitude of the epidemic, early public health responses were not data-driven. Understanding the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infections and immune response is critical to developing and implementing effective public health responses. Most serological surveys have been limited to localities that opted to conduct them and/or were based on convenience samples. Moreover, results of antibody testing might be subject to high false positive rates in the setting of low prevalence of immune response and imperfect test specificity. METHODS: We will conduct a national serosurvey for SARS-CoV-2 PCR positivity and immune experience. A probability sample of U.S. addresses will be mailed invitations and kits for the self-collection of anterior nares swab and finger prick dried blood spot specimens. Within each sampled household, one adult 18 years or older will be randomly selected and asked to complete a questionnaire and to collect and return biological specimens to a central laboratory. Nasal swab specimens will be tested for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by RNA PCR; dried blood spot specimens will be tested for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., immune experience) by enzyme-linked immunoassays. Positive screening tests for antibodies will be confirmed by a second antibody test with different antigenic basis to improve predictive value of positive (PPV) antibody test results. All persons returning specimens in the baseline phase will be enrolled into a follow-up cohort and mailed additional specimen collection kits 3 months after baseline. A subset of 10% of selected households will be invited to participate in full household testing, with tests offered for all household members aged ≥3 years. The main study outcomes will be period prevalence of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and immune experience, and incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and antibody responses. RESULTS: Power calculations indicate that a national sample of 4000 households will facilitate estimation of national SARS-CoV-2 infection and antibody prevalence with acceptably narrow 95% confidence intervals across several possible scenarios of prevalence levels. Oversampling in up to seven populous states will allow for prevalence estimation among subpopulations. Our 2-stage algorithm for antibody testing produces acceptable PPV at prevalence levels ≥1.0%. Including oversamples in states, we expect to receive data from as many as 9156 participants in 7495 U.S. households. CONCLUSIONS: In addition to providing robust estimates of prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection and immune experience, we anticipate this study will establish a replicable methodology for home-based SARS-CoV-2 testing surveys, address concerns about selection bias, and improve positive predictive value of serology results. Prevalence estimates of SARS-CoV-2 infection and immune experience produced by this study will greatly improve our understanding of the spectrum of COVID-19 disease, its current penetration in various demographic, geographic, and occupational groups, and inform the range of symptoms associated with infection. These data will inform resource needs for control of the ongoing epidemic and facilitate data-driven decisions for epidemic mitigation strategies.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Trial Protocols as Topic , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
18.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(7): e20001, 2020 07 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-628148

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Existing health disparities based on race and ethnicity in the United States are contributing to disparities in morbidity and mortality during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. We conducted an online survey of American adults to assess similarities and differences by race and ethnicity with respect to COVID-19 symptoms, estimates of the extent of the pandemic, knowledge of control measures, and stigma. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe similarities and differences in COVID-19 symptoms, knowledge, and beliefs by race and ethnicity among adults in the United States. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional survey from March 27, 2020 through April 1, 2020. Participants were recruited on social media platforms and completed the survey on a secure web-based survey platform. We used chi-square tests to compare characteristics related to COVID-19 by race and ethnicity. Statistical tests were corrected using the Holm Bonferroni correction to account for multiple comparisons. RESULTS: A total of 1435 participants completed the survey; 52 (3.6%) were Asian, 158 (11.0%) were non-Hispanic Black, 548 (38.2%) were Hispanic, 587 (40.9%) were non-Hispanic White, and 90 (6.3%) identified as other or multiple races. Only one symptom (sore throat) was found to be different based on race and ethnicity (P=.003); this symptom was less frequently reported by Asian (3/52, 5.8%), non-Hispanic Black (9/158, 5.7%), and other/multiple race (8/90, 8.9%) participants compared to those who were Hispanic (99/548, 18.1%) or non-Hispanic White (95/587, 16.2%). Non-Hispanic White and Asian participants were more likely to estimate that the number of current cases was at least 100,000 (P=.004) and were more likely to answer all 14 COVID-19 knowledge scale questions correctly (Asian participants, 13/52, 25.0%; non-Hispanic White participants, 180/587, 30.7%) compared to Hispanic (108/548, 19.7%) and non-Hispanic Black (25/158, 15.8%) participants. CONCLUSIONS: We observed differences with respect to knowledge of appropriate methods to prevent infection by the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Deficits in knowledge of proper control methods may further exacerbate existing race/ethnicity disparities. Additional research is needed to identify trusted sources of information in Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black communities and create effective messaging to disseminate correct COVID-19 prevention and treatment information.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice/ethnology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Adult , African Americans/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
19.
BMJ Evid Based Med ; 2020 Jun 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-556434

ABSTRACT

Health inequities have long defined health and the healthcare system in the USA. The clinical and research capacity across the USA is unparalleled, yet compared to other high and even some middle-income countries, the average health indicators of the population remain suboptimal in 2020, a finding at least in part explained by inequity in healthcare access. In this context, COVID-19 has rapidly emerged as a major threat to the public's health. While it was initially thought that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 would be the great equaliser as it would not discriminate, it is clear that COVID-19 incidence and mortality have rapidly reinforced health disparities drawn by historical and contemporary inequities. Here, we synthesise the data highlighting specific risks among particular marginalised and under-resourced communities including those in jails, prisons and detention centers, immigrants and the undocumented, people with disabilities and people experiencing homelessness across the USA. The drivers of these disparities are pervasive structural risks including limited access to preventive services, inability to comply with physical distancing recommendations, underlying health disparities and intersecting stigmas particularly affecting racial and ethnic minorities across the country, including African Americans, Latinx Americans and Native Americans. Advancing the COVID-19 response, saving lives and restarting the economy necessitate rapidly addressing these inequities rather than ignoring and even reinforcing them.

20.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 6(2): e19731, 2020 06 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-457414

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic calls for expanded opportunities for testing, including novel testing strategies such as home-collected specimens. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to understand whether oropharyngeal swab (OPS), saliva, and dried blood spot (DBS) specimens collected by participants at home and mailed to a laboratory were sufficient for use in diagnostic and serology tests of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: Eligible participants consented online and were mailed a participant-collection kit to support collection of three specimens for SARS-CoV-2 testing: saliva, OPS, and DBS. Participants performed the specimen collection procedures during a telehealth video appointment while clinical observers watched and documented the suitability of the collection. The biological sufficiency of the specimens for detection of SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and serology testing was assessed by laboratorians using visual inspection and quantification of the nucleic acid contents of the samples by ribonuclease P (RNase P) measurements. RESULTS: Of the enrolled participants,153/159 (96.2%) returned their kits, which were included in this analysis. All these participants attended their video appointments. Clinical observers assessed that of the samples collected, 147/153 (96.1%) of the saliva samples, 146/151 (96.7%) of the oropharyngeal samples, and 135/145 (93.1%) of the DBS samples were of sufficient quality for submission for laboratory testing; 100% of the OPS samples and 98% of the saliva samples had cycle threshold values for RNase P <30, indicating that the samples contained sufficient nucleic acid for RNA-PCR testing for SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: These pilot data indicate that most participant-collected OPS, saliva, and DBS specimens are suitable and sufficient for testing for SARS-CoV-2 RNA and serology. Clinical observers rated the collection of specimens as suitable for testing, and visual and quantitative laboratory assessment indicated that the specimens were biologically sufficient. These data support the utility of participant-collected and mailed-in specimens for SARS-CoV-2 testing. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): RR2-10.2196/19054.


Subject(s)
Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Specimen Handling/methods , Telemedicine , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Dried Blood Spot Testing , Female , Health Services Research , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Oropharynx/virology , Pilot Projects , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Saliva/virology , Young Adult
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