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Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2069363


Background To contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, non-pharmacologic interventions, including lockdown and social distancing, may have adverse impact on access to HIV testing and care. This study investigated the impact of Covid-19 on HIV testing and care at a major hospital in Taiwan in 2020-2021. Methods The numbers of clients seeking anonymous HIV voluntary counseling and testing were compared 2 years before (2018-2019) and 2 years after Covid-19 outbreak (2020-2021). People living with HIV (PLWH) who sought care at the hospital during 2018-2021 were included to examine the status of HIV care delivery and disposition. Results The annual number of HIV screening tests performed had significantly decreased from 2,507 and 2,794 in 2018 and 2019, respectively, to 2,161 and 1,737 in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The rate of discontinuation of HIV care among PLWH was 3.7% in 2019, which remained unchanged in 2020 (3.7%) and 2021 (3.8%). The respective percentage of annual plasma HIV RNA testing <2 times increased from 8.4% and 7.8% in 2018 and 2019 to 7.0% and 10.7% in 2020 and 2021, so was that of annual syphilis testing <2 times (10.1% and 8.8% to 7.9% and 12.0%). The rates of plasma HIV RNA <200 copies/ml ranged from 97.0% to 98.1% in 2018-2021. Conclusions During the Covid-19 pandemic, access to HIV counseling and testing was significantly limited. While the number of HIV-related testing decreased, the impact of Covid-19 on the continuity of antiretroviral therapy and viral suppression among PLWH appeared to be minimal in Taiwan.

Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 1664-1671, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1978179


To reach the WHO target of hepatitis C virus (HCV) elimination by 2025, Taiwan started to implement free-of-charge direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment programme in 2017. Evaluating the progress of HCV microelimination among people living with HIV (PLWH) is a critical step to identify the barriers to HCV elimination. PLWH seeking care at a major hospital designated for HIV care in Taiwan between January 2011 and December 2021 were retrospectively included. For PLWH with HCV-seropositive or HCV seroconversion during the study period, serial HCV RNA testing was performed using archived samples to confirm the presence of HCV viremia and estimate the prevalence and incidence of HCV viremia. Overall, 4199 PLWH contributed to a total of 27,258.75 person-years of follow-up (PYFU). With the reimbursement of DAAs and improvement of access to treatments, the prevalence of HCV viremia has declined from its peak of 6.21% (95% CI, 5.39-7.12%) in 2018 to 2.09% (95% CI, 1.60-2.77%) in 2021 (decline by 66.4% [95% CI, 55.4-74.7%]); the incidence has declined from 25.94 per 1000 PYFU (95% CI, 20.44-32.47) in 2019 to 12.15% per 1000 PYFU (95% CI, 8.14-17.44) (decline by 53.2% [95% CI, 27.3-70.6%]). However, the proportion of HCV reinfections continued to increase and accounted for 82.8% of incident HCV infections in 2021. We observed significant declines of HCV viremia among PLWH with the expansion of the DAA treatment programme in Taiwan. Further improvement of the access to DAA retreatments is warranted to achieve the goal of HCV microelimination.

HIV Infections , Hepatitis C, Chronic , Hepatitis C , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Hepacivirus/genetics , Hepatitis C/drug therapy , Hepatitis C/epidemiology , Hepatitis C, Chronic/drug therapy , Humans , Retrospective Studies , Taiwan/epidemiology , Viremia/drug therapy , Viremia/epidemiology
J Microbiol Immunol Infect ; 55(3): 535-539, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1819544


COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for at-risk populations, but the vaccine effectiveness in people living with HIV (PLWH) remains incompletely understood. Here we demonstrate that COVID-19 vaccination was clinically effective among PLWH during the outbreak setting with a low endemicity of COVID-19 where non-pharmaceutical interventions were strictly implemented.

COVID-19 , HIV Infections , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Vaccination