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1.
PLoS Med ; 19(3): e1003930, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793652

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Low syphilis testing uptake is a major public health issue among men who have sex with men (MSM) in many low- and middle-income countries. Syphilis self-testing (SST) may complement and extend facility-based testing. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness and costs of providing SST on increasing syphilis testing uptake among MSM in China. METHODS AND FINDINGS: An open-label, parallel 3-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted between January 7, 2020 and July 17, 2020. Men who were at least 18 years of age, had condomless anal sex with men in the past year, reported not testing for syphilis in the last 6 months, and had a stable residence with mailing addresses were recruited from 124 cities in 26 Chinese provinces. Using block randomization with blocks of size 12, enrolled participants were randomly assigned (1:1:1) into 3 arms: standard of care arm, standard SST arm, and lottery incentivized SST arm (1 in 10 chance to win US$15 if they had a syphilis test). The primary outcome was the proportion of participants who tested for syphilis during the trial period and confirmed with photo verification and between arm comparisons were estimated with risk differences (RDs). Analyses were performed on a modified intention-to-treat basis: Participants were included in the complete case analysis if they had initiated at least 1 follow-up survey. The Syphilis/HIV Duo rapid test kit was used. A total of 451 men were enrolled. In total, 136 (90·7%, 136/150) in the standard of care arm, 142 (94·0%, 142/151) in the standard of SST arm, and 137 (91·3%, 137/150) in the lottery incentivized SST arm were included in the final analysis. The proportion of men who had at least 1 syphilis test during the trial period was 63.4% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 55.5% to 71.3%, p = 0.001) in the standard SST arm, 65.7% (95% CI: 57.7% to 73.6%, p = 0.0002) in the lottery incentivized SST arm, and 14.7% (95% CI: 8.8% to 20.7%, p < 0.001) in the standard of care arm. The estimated RD between the standard SST and standard of care arm was 48.7% (95% CI: 37.8% to 58.4%, p < 0.001). The majority (78.5%, 95% CI: 72.7% to 84.4%, p < 0.001) of syphilis self-testers reported never testing for syphilis. The cost per person tested was US$26.55 for standard SST, US$28.09 for the lottery incentivized SST, and US$66.19 for the standard of care. No study-related adverse events were reported during the study duration. Limitation was that the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) restrictions may have accentuated demand for decentralized testing. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to standard of care, providing SST significantly increased the proportion of MSM testing for syphilis in China and was cheaper (per person tested). TRIAL REGISTRATION: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry: ChiCTR1900022409.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections/diagnosis , Homosexuality, Male , Patient Participation/methods , Self-Testing , Syphilis/diagnosis , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , China/epidemiology , Follow-Up Studies , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Health Services Accessibility/organization & administration , Homosexuality, Male/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Male , Mass Screening/economics , Mass Screening/methods , Mass Screening/organization & administration , Middle Aged , Motivation , Pandemics , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/economics , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/supply & distribution , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual and Gender Minorities/statistics & numerical data , Syphilis/epidemiology , Syphilis/prevention & control , Young Adult
2.
Sex Transm Infect ; 98(3): 197-202, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1788980

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Self-testing for STIs such as HIV and syphilis may empower sexual minorities and expand uptake of STI testing. While much is known about HIV self-testing (HIVST), less is known about syphilis self-testing, particularly in low-income settings. The objective of this study is to determine context-specific facilitators and barriers for self-testing and to assess the usability of syphilis self-testing in Zimbabwe among men who have sex with men (MSM). METHODS: This mixed methods study was conducted in Harare as part of a larger syphilis self-testing trial. The study included in-depth interviews (phase I) followed by usability testing and a second interview (phase II). In-depth interviews were conducted with MSM and key informants prior to syphilis self-testing. The same MSM then used the syphilis self-test, quantitatively assessed its usability and participated in a second in-depth interview. Phase I data were analysed using a thematic approach, guided by an adapted social ecological model conceptual framework. Phase II interviews were analysed using rapid assessment procedure methodology, and usability was assessed using a pre-established index, adapted from existing HIVST scales. RESULTS: Twenty MSM and 10 key informants were recruited for phase I in-depth interviews, and 16 of these MSM participated in phase II by completing a syphilis self-test kit. Facilitating factors for self-testing included the potential for increased privacy, convenience, autonomy, and avoidance of social and healthcare provider stigma. Barriers included the fear to test and uncertainty about linkage to care and treatment. Data from the Usability Index suggested high usability (89.6% on a 0-100 scale) among the men who received the self-test. CONCLUSIONS: MSM in Zimbabwe were willing to use syphilis self-test kits and many of the barriers and facilitators were similar to those observed for HIVST. Syphilis self-testing may increase syphilis test uptake among sexual minorities in Zimbabwe and other low-income and middle-income countries.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Syphilis , HIV Infections/diagnosis , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , Self-Testing , Syphilis/diagnosis , Zimbabwe
3.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 446, 2022 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731526

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Open online forums like Reddit provide an opportunity to quantitatively examine COVID-19 vaccine perceptions early in the vaccine timeline. We examine COVID-19 misinformation on Reddit following vaccine scientific announcements, in the initial phases of the vaccine timeline. METHODS: We collected all posts on Reddit (reddit.com) from January 1 2020 - December 14 2020 (n=266,840) that contained both COVID-19 and vaccine-related keywords. We used topic modeling to understand changes in word prevalence within topics after the release of vaccine trial data. Social network analysis was also conducted to determine the relationship between Reddit communities (subreddits) that shared COVID-19 vaccine posts, and the movement of posts between subreddits. RESULTS: There was an association between a Pfizer press release reporting 90% efficacy and increased discussion on vaccine misinformation. We observed an association between Johnson and Johnson temporarily halting its vaccine trials and reduced misinformation. We found that information skeptical of vaccination was first posted in a subreddit (r/Coronavirus) which favored accurate information and then reposted in subreddits associated with antivaccine beliefs and conspiracy theories (e.g. conspiracy, NoNewNormal). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings can inform the development of interventions where individuals determine the accuracy of vaccine information, and communications campaigns to improve COVID-19 vaccine perceptions, early in the vaccine timeline. Such efforts can increase individual- and population-level awareness of accurate and scientifically sound information regarding vaccines and thereby improve attitudes about vaccines, especially in the early phases of vaccine roll-out. Further research is needed to understand how social media can contribute to COVID-19 vaccination services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Vaccines , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
4.
PLoS Med ; 19(2): e1003928, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686091

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital network-based methods may enhance peer distribution of HIV self-testing (HIVST) kits, but interventions that can optimize this approach are needed. We aimed to assess whether monetary incentives and peer referral could improve a secondary distribution program for HIVST among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Between October 21, 2019 and September 14, 2020, a 3-arm randomized controlled, single-blinded trial was conducted online among 309 individuals (defined as index participants) who were assigned male at birth, aged 18 years or older, ever had male-to-male sex, willing to order HIVST kits online, and consented to take surveys online. We randomly assigned index participants into one of the 3 arms: (1) standard secondary distribution (control) group (n = 102); (2) secondary distribution with monetary incentives (SD-M) group (n = 103); and (3) secondary distribution with monetary incentives plus peer referral (SD-M-PR) group (n = 104). Index participants in 3 groups were encouraged to order HIVST kits online and distribute to members within their social networks. Members who received kits directly from index participants or through peer referral links from index MSM were defined as alters. Index participants in the 2 intervention groups could receive a fixed incentive ($3 USD) online for the verified test result uploaded to the digital platform by each unique alter. Index participants in the SD-M-PR group could additionally have a personalized peer referral link for alters to order kits online. Both index participants and alters needed to pay a refundable deposit ($15 USD) for ordering a kit. All index participants were assigned an online 3-month follow-up survey after ordering kits. The primary outcomes were the mean number of alters motivated by index participants in each arm and the mean number of newly tested alters motivated by index participants in each arm. These were assessed using zero-inflated negative binomial regression to determine the group differences in the mean number of alters and the mean number of newly tested alters motivated by index participants. Analyses were performed on an intention-to-treat basis. We also conducted an economic evaluation using microcosting from a health provider perspective with a 3-month time horizon. The mean number of unique tested alters motivated by index participants was 0.57 ± 0.96 (mean ± standard deviation [SD]) in the control group, compared with 0.98 ± 1.38 in the SD-M group (mean difference [MD] = 0.41),and 1.78 ± 2.05 in the SD-M-PR group (MD = 1.21). The mean number of newly tested alters motivated by index participants was 0.16 ± 0.39 (mean ± SD) in the control group, compared with 0.41 ± 0.73 in the SD-M group (MD = 0.25) and 0.57 ± 0.91 in the SD-M-PR group (MD = 0.41), respectively. Results indicated that index participants in intervention arms were more likely to motivate unique tested alters (control versus SD-M: incidence rate ratio [IRR = 2.98, 95% CI = 1.82 to 4.89, p-value < 0.001; control versus SD-M-PR: IRR = 3.26, 95% CI = 2.29 to 4.63, p-value < 0.001) and newly tested alters (control versus SD-M: IRR = 4.22, 95% CI = 1.93 to 9.23, p-value < 0.001; control versus SD-M-PR: IRR = 3.49, 95% CI = 1.92 to 6.37, p-value < 0.001) to conduct HIVST. The proportion of newly tested testers among alters was 28% in the control group, 42% in the SD-M group, and 32% in the SD-M-PR group. A total of 18 testers (3 index participants and 15 alters) tested as HIV positive, and the HIV reactive rates for alters were similar between the 3 groups. The total costs were $19,485.97 for 794 testers, including 450 index participants and 344 alter testers. Overall, the average cost per tester was $24.54, and the average cost per alter tester was $56.65. Monetary incentives alone (SD-M group) were more cost-effective than monetary incentives with peer referral (SD-M-PR group) on average in terms of alters tested and newly tested alters, despite SD-M-PR having larger effects. Compared to the control group, the cost for one more alter tester in the SD-M group was $14.90 and $16.61 in the SD-M-PR group. For newly tested alters, the cost of one more alter in the SD-M group was $24.65 and $49.07 in the SD-M-PR group. No study-related adverse events were reported during the study. Limitations include the digital network approach might neglect individuals who lack internet access. CONCLUSIONS: Monetary incentives alone and the combined intervention of monetary incentives and peer referral can promote the secondary distribution of HIVST among MSM. Monetary incentives can also expand HIV testing by encouraging first-time testing through secondary distribution by MSM. This social network-based digital approach can be expanded to other public health research, especially in the era of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). TRIAL REGISTRATION: Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR) ChiCTR1900025433.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Testing/instrumentation , Homosexuality, Male , Reimbursement, Incentive , Self-Testing , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Adult , China , Costs and Cost Analysis , HIV Testing/economics , HIV Testing/methods , Humans , Male
5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Feb 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684557

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is limited evidence to date about changes to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) during the initial wave of COVID-19 disease. To address this gap, our team organized a multi-country, cross-sectional online survey as part of a global consortium. METHODS: Consortium research teams conducted online surveys in 30 countries. Sampling methods included convenience, online panels, and population-representative. Primary outcomes included sexual behaviors, partner violence, and SRH service utilization, and we compared three months prior to and during policy measures to mitigate COVID-19. We conducted meta-analyses for primary outcomes and graded the certainty of the evidence using Cochrane methods. RESULTS: Among 4546 respondents with casual partners, condom use stayed the same for 3374 (74.4%) people and 640 (14.1%) people reported a decline. Fewer respondents reported physical or sexual partner violence during COVID-19 measures (1063/15144, 7.0%) compared to the period before COVID-19 measures (1469/15887, 9.3%). COVID-19 measures impeded access to condoms (933/10790, 8.7%), contraceptives (610/8175, 7.5%), and HIV/STI testing (750/1965, 30.7%). Pooled estimates from meta-analysis indicate during COVID-19 measures, 32.3% (95% CI 23.9-42.1) of people needing HIV/STI testing had hindered access, 4.4% (95% CI 3.4-5.4) experienced partner violence, and 5.8% (95% CI 5.4-8.2) decreased casual partner condom use (moderate certainty of evidence for each outcome). Meta-analysis findings were robust in sensitivity analyses that examined country income level, sample size, and sampling strategy. CONCLUSIONS: Open science methods are feasible to organize research studies as part of emergency responses. The initial COVID-19 wave impacted SRH behaviors and access to services across diverse global settings.

6.
J Health Commun ; 26(12): 846-857, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612315

ABSTRACT

The duration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic depends largely on individual and societal actions which are influenced by the quality and salience of the information to which they are exposed. Unfortunately, COVID-19 misinformation has proliferated. Despite growing attempts to mitigate COVID-19 misinformation, there is still uncertainty regarding the best way to ameliorate the impact of COVID-19 misinformation. To address this gap, the current study uses a meta-analysis to evaluate the relative impact of interventions designed to mitigate COVID-19-related misinformation. We searched multiple databases and gray literature from January 2020 to September 2021. The primary outcome was COVID-19 misinformation belief. We examined study quality and meta-analysis was used to pool data with similar interventions and outcomes. 16 studies were analyzed in the meta-analysis, including data from 33378 individuals. The mean effect size of interventions to mitigate COVID-19 misinformation was positive, but not statistically significant [d = 2.018, 95% CI (-0.14, 4.18), p = .065, k = 16]. We found evidence of publication bias. Interventions were more effective in cases where participants were involved with the topic, and where text-only mitigation was used. The limited focus on non-U.S. studies and marginalized populations is concerning given the greater COVID-19 mortality burden on vulnerable communities globally. The findings of this meta-analysis describe the current state of the literature and prescribe specific recommendations to better address the proliferation of COVID-19 misinformation, providing insights helpful to mitigating pandemic outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(11): e26480, 2021 11 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1547113

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The need for strategies to encourage user-initiated reporting of results after HIV self-testing (HIVST) persists. Smartphone-based electronic readers (SERs) have been shown capable of reading diagnostics results accurately in point-of-care diagnostics and could bridge the current gaps between HIVST and linkage to care. OBJECTIVE: Our study aimed to assess the willingness of Chinese men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Jiangsu province to use an SER for HIVST through a web-based cross-sectional study. METHODS: From February to April 2020, we conducted a convenience web-based survey among Chinese MSM by using a pretested structured questionnaire. Survey items were adapted from previous HIVST feasibility studies and modified as required. Prior to answering reader-related questions, participants watched a video showcasing a prototype SER. Statistical analysis included descriptive analysis, chi-squared test, and multivariable logistic regression. P values less than .05 were deemed statistically significant. RESULTS: Of 692 participants, 369 (53.3%) were aged 26-40 years, 456 (65.9%) had ever self-tested for HIV, and 493 (71.2%) were willing to use an SER for HIVST. Approximately 98% (483/493) of the willing participants, 85.3% (459/538) of ever self-tested and never self-tested, and 40% (46/115) of unwilling participants reported that SERs would increase their HIVST frequency. Engaging in unprotected anal intercourse with regular partners compared to consistently using condoms (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 3.04, 95% CI 1.19-7.74) increased the odds of willingness to use an SER for HIVST. Participants who had ever considered HIVST at home with a partner right before sex compared to those who had not (AOR 2.99, 95% CI 1.13-7.90) were also more willing to use an SER for HIVST. Playing receptive roles during anal intercourse compared to playing insertive roles (AOR 0.05, 95% CI 0.02-0.14) was associated with decreased odds of being willing to use an SER for HIVST. The majority of the participants (447/608, 73.5%) preferred to purchase readers from local Centers of Disease Control and Prevention offices and 51.2% (311/608) of the participants were willing to pay less than US $4.70 for a reader device. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of the Chinese MSM, especially those with high sexual risk behaviors, were willing to use an SER for HIVST. Many MSM were also willing to self-test more frequently for HIV with an SER. Further research is needed to ascertain the diagnostic and real-time data-capturing capacity of prototype SERs during HIVST.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , China , Cross-Sectional Studies , Electronics , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Internet , Male , Smartphone
8.
PLoS Med ; 18(9): e1003788, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470658

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social innovations in health are inclusive solutions to address the healthcare delivery gap that meet the needs of end users through a multi-stakeholder, community-engaged process. While social innovations for health have shown promise in closing the healthcare delivery gap, more research is needed to evaluate, scale up, and sustain social innovation. Research checklists can standardize and improve reporting of research findings, promote transparency, and increase replicability of study results and findings. METHODS AND FINDINGS: The research checklist was developed through a 3-step community-engaged process, including a global open call for ideas, a scoping review, and a 3-round modified Delphi process. The call for entries solicited checklists and related items and was open between November 27, 2019 and February 1, 2020. In addition to the open call submissions and scoping review findings, a 17-item Social Innovation For Health Research (SIFHR) Checklist was developed based on the Template for Intervention Description and Replication (TIDieR) Checklist. The checklist was then refined during 3 rounds of Delphi surveys conducted between May and June 2020. The resulting checklist will facilitate more complete and transparent reporting, increase end-user engagement, and help assess social innovation projects. A limitation of the open call was requiring internet access, which likely discouraged participation of some subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: The SIFHR Checklist will strengthen the reporting of social innovation for health research studies. More research is needed on social innovation for health.


Subject(s)
Checklist , Health Services Research , Research Design , Socioeconomic Factors , Delphi Technique , Diffusion of Innovation , Humans , Social Determinants of Health , Stakeholder Participation
9.
Sex Transm Infect ; 2021 Aug 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360568

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe reported changes in sexual behaviours, including virtual sex (sexting and cybersex), and access to HIV/STI testing and care during COVID-19 measures in Panama. METHODS: We conducted an online cross-sectional survey from 8 August to 12 September 2020 among adults (≥18 years) residing in Panama. Participants were recruited through social media. Questions included demographics, access to HIV/STI testing and HIV care, and sexual behaviours 3 months before COVID-19 social distancing measures and during social distancing measures (COVID-19 measures). Logistic regression was used to identify associations between variables and behavioural changes. RESULTS: We recruited 960 participants; 526 (54.8%) identified as cis-women, 366 (38.1%) cis-men and 68 (7.1%) non-binary or another gender. The median age was 28 years (IQR: 23-37 years), and 531 of 957 (55.5%) were of mixed ethnicity (mixed Indigenous/European/Afro-descendant ancestry). Before COVID-19 measures, virtual sex was reported by 38.5% (181 of 470) of cis-women, 58.4% (184 of 315) cis-men and 45.0% (27 of 60) non-binary participants. During COVID-19 measures, virtual sex increased among 17.2% of cis-women, 24.7% cis-men and 8.9% non-binary participants. During COVID-19 measures, 230 of 800 (28.8%) participants reported decreased casual sex compared with pre-COVID-19 measures. Compared with pre-COVID-19 measures, decreased casual sex was reported more frequently during COVID-19 measures by cis-men compared with cis-women (39.2% vs 22.9%, urban/rural adjusted OR (AOR)=2.17, 95% CI 1.57 to 3.01), and by Afro-descendant compared with participants of mixed ethnicity (40.0% vs 29.8%, AOR=1.78, 95% CI 1.07 to 2.94). Compared with no change in virtual sex (16.8%), increased virtual sex (38.5%, AOR=1.78, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.88) and decreased virtual sex (86.7%, AOR=16.53, 95% CI 7.74 to 35.27) were associated with decreased casual sex encounters. During COVID-19 measures, HIV/STI testing could not be obtained by 58.0% (58 of 100) of the participants who needed a test, and interrupted HIV care was reported by 53.3% (8 of 15) of participants living with HIV. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 measures in Panama were associated with a decrease in casual sex among cis-men and Afro-descendant people, while access to HIV/STI testing and care was seriously disrupted.

10.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1374, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305560

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Public health measures, such as social isolation, are vital to control the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but such measures may increase the risk of depression. Thus, this study examines the influencing and moderating factors of depressive symptoms among individuals subjected to mandatory social isolation. METHODS: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted to collect data from people under mandatory home or centralized social isolation in Shenzhen, China, from February 28 to March 6, 2020. The perceived risk of infection with COVID-19, perceived tone of media coverage, perceived quality of people-oriented public health services, and their depressive symptoms were assessed. Three rounds of stepwise multiple regression were performed to examine the moderating effects after controlling various variables, such as demographics, duration and venue of mandatory social isolation, infection and isolation status of family, time spent on COVID-related news, and online social support. RESULTS: Among the 340 participants, 57.6% were men, the average age was 35.5 years old (SD = 8.37), and 55.6% held a bachelor's degree or above. Individuals subjected to mandatory social isolation generally reported low levels of depressive symptoms. Perceived susceptibility to infection was relatively low, whereas perceived tone of media coverage was mainly positive. In terms of perceived quality of public health services, 12 (3.5%), 103 (30.3%), and 225 (66.2%) participants reported low, medium, and high quality of people-oriented services, respectively. Perceived susceptibility was positively associated with depression, whereas perceived tone of media coverage was negatively associated. The quality of people-centered public health services moderated the association between perceived risk and depressive symptoms and between perceived tone of media coverage and depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed the depressive symptoms among individuals subjected to mandatory social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted that frontline public health workers play a critical role in protecting public mental health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Anxiety , China/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Health Services , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation
12.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(5): e2110090, 2021 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227702

ABSTRACT

Importance: Reimagining university life during COVID-19 requires substantial innovation and meaningful community input. One method for obtaining community input is crowdsourcing, which involves having a group of individuals work to solve a problem and then publicly share solutions. Objective: To evaluate a crowdsourcing open call as an approach to COVID-19 university community engagement and strategic planning. Design, Setting, and Participants: This qualitative study assessed a crowdsourcing open call offered from June 16 to July 16, 2020, that sought ideas to inform safety in the fall 2020 semester at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Digital methods (email and social media) were used for promotion, and submissions were collected online for 4 weeks. Participation was open to UNC students, staff, faculty, and others. Main Outcomes and Measures: Submissions were evaluated for innovation, feasibility, inclusivity, and potential to improve safety and well-being. Demographic data were collected from submitting individuals, and submissions were qualitatively analyzed for emergent themes on challenges with and solutions for addressing safety and well-being in the fall semester. Data were shared with UNC leadership to inform decision-making. Results: The open call received 82 submissions from 110 participants, including current UNC students (56 submissions [68%]), people younger than 30 years (67 [82%]), women (55 [67%]), and individuals identifying as a racial/ethnic minority or as multiracial/ethnic (49 [60%]). Seven submissions were identified as finalists and received cash prizes with the encouragement to use these funds toward idea development and implementation. Seventeen runner-up teams were linked to university resources for further development. Thematic analysis of submissions regarding challenges with the fall semester revealed not only physical health concerns and the limitations of remote learning but also challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, such as a lack of mental health support, structural racism and inequality, and insufficient public transportation. Solutions included novel ideas to support mental health among specific populations (eg, graduate students and racial/ethnic minorities), improve health equity, and increase transit access. All 24 finalists and runners-up indicated interest in implementation after being notified of the open call results. Conclusions and Relevance: This study suggests that open calls are a feasible strategy for university community engagement on COVID-19, providing a stakeholder-driven approach to identifying promising ideas for enhancing safety and well-being. Open calls could be formally incorporated into university planning processes to develop COVID-19 safety strategies that are responsive to diverse community members' concerns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Crowdsourcing , Organizational Innovation , Strategic Planning , Universities/organization & administration , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , Education, Distance , Female , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Minority Groups/psychology , North Carolina , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Support , Students/psychology , Young Adult
13.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 24(4): e25697, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1168893

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting HIV care globally, with gaps in HIV treatment expected to increase HIV transmission and HIV-related mortality. We estimated how COVID-19-related disruptions could impact HIV transmission and mortality among men who have sex with men (MSM) in four cities in China, over a one- and five-year time horizon. METHODS: Regional data from China indicated that the number of MSM undergoing facility-based HIV testing reduced by 59% during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside reductions in ART initiation (34%), numbers of all sexual partners (62%) and consistency of condom use (25%), but initial data indicated no change in viral suppression. A mathematical model of HIV transmission/treatment among MSM was used to estimate the impact of disruptions on HIV infections/HIV-related deaths. Disruption scenarios were assessed for their individual and combined impact over one and five years for 3/4/6-month disruption periods, starting from 1 January 2020. RESULTS: Our model predicted new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths would be increased most by disruptions to viral suppression, with 25% reductions (25% virally suppressed MSM stop taking ART) for a three-month period increasing HIV infections by 5% to 14% over one year and deaths by 7% to 12%. Observed reductions in condom use increased HIV infections by 5% to 14% but had minimal impact (<1%) on deaths. Smaller impacts on infections and deaths (<3%) were seen for disruptions to facility HIV testing and ART initiation, but reduced partner numbers resulted in 11% to 23% fewer infections and 0.4% to 1.0% fewer deaths. Longer disruption periods (4/6 months) amplified the impact of disruption scenarios. When realistic disruptions were modelled simultaneously, an overall decrease in new HIV infections occurred over one year (3% to 17%), but not for five years (1% increase to 4% decrease), whereas deaths mostly increased over one year (1% to 2%) and five years (1.2 increase to 0.3 decrease). CONCLUSIONS: The overall impact of COVID-19 on new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths is dependent on the nature, scale and length of the various disruptions. Resources should be directed to ensuring levels of viral suppression and condom use are maintained to mitigate any adverse effects of COVID-19-related disruption on HIV transmission and control among MSM in China.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , SARS-CoV-2 , China/epidemiology , HIV Infections/transmission , Humans , Male , Safe Sex
16.
Syst Rev ; 10(1): 37, 2021 01 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1042776

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Global responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed and exacerbated existing socioeconomic and health inequities that disproportionately affect the sexual health and well-being of many populations, including people of color, ethnic minority groups, women, and sexual and gender minority populations. Although there have been several reviews published on COVID-19 and health disparities across various populations, none has focused on sexual health. We plan to conduct a scoping review that seeks to fill several of the gaps in the current knowledge of sexual health in the COVID-19 era. METHODS: A scoping review focusing on sexual health and COVID-19 will be conducted. We will search (from January 2020 onwards) CINAHL, Africa-Wide Information, Web of Science Core Collection, Embase, Gender Studies Database, Gender Watch, Global Health, WHO Global Literature on Coronavirus Disease Database, WHO Global Index Medicus, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and Sociological Abstracts. Grey literature will be identified using Disaster Lit, Google Scholar, governmental websites, and clinical trials registries (e.g., ClinicalTrial.gov , World Health Organization, International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, and International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number Registry). Study selection will conform to the Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewers' Manual 2015 Methodology for JBI Scoping Reviews. Only English language, original studies will be considered for inclusion. Two reviewers will independently screen all citations, full-text articles, and abstract data. A narrative summary of findings will be conducted. Data analysis will involve quantitative (e.g., frequencies) and qualitative (e.g., content and thematic analysis) methods. DISCUSSION: Original research is urgently needed to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 on sexual health. The planned scoping review will help to address this gap. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATIONS: Systematic Review Registration: Open Science Framework osf/io/PRX8E.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/ethnology , Pandemics , Sexual Health , Sexual and Gender Minorities , COVID-19/psychology , Female , Global Health , Humans , Male , Minority Groups
17.
Sex Transm Infect ; 97(2): 88-92, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883395

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 may have a profound impact on sexual health, reproductive health and social life across the world. Shelter in place regulations that have extended across the globe may influence condomless sex, exacerbate intimate partner violence and reduce access to essential reproductive health services. Population representative research is challenging during shelter in place, leaving major gaps in our understanding of sexual and reproductive health during COVID-19. This International Sexual Health And ReproductivE health (I-SHARE) study protocol manuscript describes a common plan for online national surveys and global comparative analyses. METHODS: The purpose of this cross-sectional study is to better understand sexual and reproductive health in selected countries during the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate multinational comparisons. Participants will be recruited through an online survey link disseminated through local, regional and national networks. In each country, a lead organisation will be responsible for organising ethical review, translation and survey administration. The consortium network provides support for national studies, coordination and multinational comparison. We will use multilevel modelling to determine the relationship between COVID-19 and condomless sex, intimate partner violence, access to reproductive health services, HIV testing and other key items. This study protocol defines primary outcomes, prespecified subanalyses and analysis plans. CONCLUSION: The I-SHARE study examines sexual and reproductive health at the national and global level during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will use multilevel modelling to investigate country-level variables associated with outcomes of interest. This will provide a foundation for subsequent online multicountry comparison using more robust sampling methodologies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Services Accessibility , Internationality , Intimate Partner Violence , Reproductive Health , Sexual Behavior , Sexual Health , Communicable Disease Control , HIV Testing , Humans , Internet , Mental Health , Multilevel Analysis , Reproductive Health Services , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Surveys and Questionnaires , Unsafe Sex
18.
BMC Public Health ; 20(1): 911, 2020 Jun 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597637

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing is a crucial strategy for HIV prevention. HIV testing rates remain low among men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. Digital network-based secondary distribution is considered as an effective model to enhance HIV self-testing (HIVST) among key populations. Digital platforms provide opportunities for testers to apply for HIVST kits by themselves, and secondary distribution allows them to apply for multiple kits to deliver to their sexual partners or members within their social network. We describe a three-arm randomized controlled trial to examine the effect of monetary incentives and peer referral in promoting digital network-based secondary distribution of HIVST among MSM in China. METHODS: Three hundred MSM in China will be enrolled through a digital platform for data collection. The eligibility criteria include being biological male, 18 years of age or over, ever having had sex with another man, being able to apply for kits via the online platform, and being willing to provide personal telephone number for follow-up. Eligible participants will be randomly allocated into one of the three arms: standard secondary distribution arm, secondary distribution with monetary incentives arm, and secondary distribution with monetary incentives plus peer referral arm. Participants (defined as "index") will distribute actual HIV self-test kits to members within their social network (defined as "alter") or share referral links to encourage alters to apply HIV self-test kits by themselves. All index participants will be requested to complete a baseline survey and a 3-month follow-up survey. Both indexes and alters will complete a survey upon returning the results by taking a photo of the used kits with the unique identification number. DISCUSSION: HIV testing rates remain suboptimal among MSM in China. Innovative interventions are needed to further expand the uptake of HIV testing among key populations. The findings of the trial can provide scientific evidence and experience on promoting secondary distribution of HIVST to reach key populations who have not yet been covered by existing testing services. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered in the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR1900025433) on 26, August 2019, http://www.chictr.org.cn/showproj.aspx?proj=42001. Prospectively registered.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , Motivation , Referral and Consultation , Self Care , Adolescent , Adult , China , HIV Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Male , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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