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1.
Lancet HIV ; 8(4): e206-e215, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093284

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, men who have sex with men (MSM) in the USA have reported similar or fewer sexual partners and reduced HIV testing and care access compared with before the pandemic. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use has also declined. We aimed to quantify the potential effect of COVID-19 on HIV incidence and HIV-related mortality among US MSM. METHODS: We used a calibrated, deterministic, compartmental HIV transmission model for MSM in Baltimore (MD, USA) and available data on COVID-19-related disruptions to HIV services to predict effects of reductions in sexual partners (0%, 25%, 50%), condom use (5%), HIV testing (20%), viral suppression (10%), PrEP initiations (72%), PrEP adherence (9%), and antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiations (50%). In our main analysis, we modelled disruptions due to COVID-19 starting Jan 1, 2020, and lasting 6 months. We estimated the median change in cumulative new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths among MSM over 1 and 5 years, compared with a base case scenario without COVID-19-related disruptions. FINDINGS: A 25% reduction in sexual partners for 6 months among MSM in Baltimore, without HIV service changes, could reduce new HIV infections by median 12·2% (95% credible interval 11·7 to 12·8) over 1 year and median 3·0% (2·6 to 3·4) over 5 years. In the absence of changes in sexual behaviour, the 6-month estimated reductions in condom use, HIV testing, viral suppression, PrEP initiations, PrEP adherence, and ART initiations combined are predicted to increase new HIV infections by median 10·5% (5·8 to 16·5) over 1 year, and by median 3·5% (2·1 to 5·4) over 5 years. Disruptions to ART initiations and viral suppression are estimated to substantially increase HIV-related deaths (ART initiations by median 1·7% [0·8 to 3·2], viral suppression by median 9·5% [5·2 to 15·9]) over 1 year, with smaller proportional increases over 5 years. The other individual disruptions (to HIV testing, PrEP and condom use, PrEP initiation, and partner numbers) were estimated to have little effect on HIV-related deaths (<1% change over 1 or 5 years). A 25% reduction in sexual partnerships is estimated to offset the effect of the combined service disruptions on new HIV infections (change over 1 year: median -3·9% [-7·4 to 1·0]; over 5 years: median 0·0% [-0·9 to 1·4]), but not on HIV deaths (change over 1 year: 11·0% [6·2 to 17·7]; over 5 years: 2·6% [1·5 to 4·3]). INTERPRETATION: Maintaining access to ART and adherence support is of the utmost importance to maintain viral suppression and minimise excess HIV-related mortality due to COVID-19 restrictions in the USA, even if disruptions to services are accompanied by reductions in sexual partnerships. FUNDING: National Institutes of Health.


Subject(s)
Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Condoms/statistics & numerical data , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Models, Statistical , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , African Americans , Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active , Baltimore/epidemiology , HIV Infections/ethnology , HIV Infections/mortality , HIV Infections/transmission , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Incidence , Male , Prognosis , Risk-Taking , Sexual Partners , Survival Analysis
2.
Sex Transm Infect ; 97(2): 85-87, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-792131

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To describe the early impact of COVID-19 and associated control measures on the sexual behaviour of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users in Wales. METHODS: Data were obtained from an ecological momentary assessment study of PrEP use and sexual behaviour. Participants were individuals accessing PrEP through the National Health Service (NHS) sexual health clinics across four health boards in Wales. Weekly data documenting condomless sex in the preceding week were analysed between 03/02/2020 and 10/05/2020. The introduction of social distancing measures and changes to sexual health clinics in Wales occurred on the week starting 16/03/2020. Two-level logistic regression models were fitted to condomless sex (yes/no) over time, included an indicator for the week starting 16/03/2020, and were extended to explore differential associations by relationship status and sexual health clinic. RESULTS: Data were available from 56 participants and included 697 person-weeks (89% of the maximum number that could have been obtained). On average, 42% of participants reported condomless sex in the period prior to the introduction of social distancing measures and 20% reported condomless sex after (OR=0.16, 95% CI 0.07 to 0.37, p<0.001). There was some evidence to suggest that this association was moderated by relationship status (OR for single participants=0.09, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.23; OR for not single participants=0.46, 95% CI 0.16 to 1.25). CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of social distancing measures and changes to PrEP services across Wales was associated with a marked reduction in reported instances of condomless sexual intercourse among respondents, with a larger reduction in those who were single compared with those who were not. The long-term impact of COVID-19 and associated control measures on this population's physical and mental health and well-being requires close examination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Physical Distancing , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Unsafe Sex/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Communicable Disease Control , Condoms/statistics & numerical data , Ecological Momentary Assessment , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Wales
3.
AIDS Behav ; 25(1): 40-48, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739667

ABSTRACT

This paper presents data from a recent cross-sectional survey of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in the US, to understand changes in sexual behavior and access to HIV prevention options (i.e. condoms and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)) during the COVID-19 lockdown period. The Love and Sex in the Time of COVID-19 survey was conducted online from April to May, 2020. GBMSM were recruited through advertisements featured on social networking platforms, recruiting a sample size of 518 GBMSM. Analysis considers changes three in self-reported measures of sexual behavior: number of sex partners, number of anal sex partners and number of anal sex partners not protected by pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or condoms. Approximately two-thirds of the sample reported that they believed it was possible to contract COVID-19 through sex, with anal sex reported as the least risky sex act. Men did not generally feel it was important to reduce their number of sex partners during COVID-19, but reported a moderate willingness to have sex during COVID-19. For the period between February and April-May 20,202, participants reported a mean increase of 2.3 sex partners during COVID-19, a mean increase of 2.1 anal sex partners (range - 40 to 70), but a very small increase in the number of unprotected anal sex partners. Increases in sexual behavior during COVID-19 were associated with increases in substance use during the same period. High levels of sexual activity continue to be reported during the COVID-19 lockdown period and these high levels of sexual activity are often paralleled by increases in substance use and binge drinking. There is a clear need to continue to provide comprehensive HIV prevention and care services during COVID-19, and telehealth and other eHealth platforms provide a safe, flexible mechanism for providing services.


Subject(s)
Bisexuality/psychology , COVID-19/prevention & control , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male/psychology , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Sexual Behavior/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/psychology , Condoms/statistics & numerical data , Cross-Sectional Studies , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Sexual Partners , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Unsafe Sex/psychology , Unsafe Sex/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
4.
AIDS Behav ; 24(7): 2024-2032, 2020 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-141720

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is reinforcing health inequities among vulnerable populations, including men who have sex with men (MSM). We conducted a rapid online survey (April 2 to April 13, 2020) of COVID-19 related impacts on the sexual health of 1051 US MSM. Many participants had adverse impacts to general wellbeing, social interactions, money, food, drug use and alcohol consumption. Half had fewer sex partners and most had no change in condom access or use. Some reported challenges in accessing HIV testing, prevention and treatment services. Compared to older MSM, those 15-24 years were more likely to report economic and service impacts. While additional studies of COVID-19 epidemiology among MSM are needed, there is already evidence of emerging interruptions to HIV-related services. Scalable remote solutions such as telehealth and mailed testing and prevention supplies may be urgently needed to avert increased HIV incidence among MSM during the COVID-19 pandemic era.


Subject(s)
Condoms/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Homosexuality, Male/statistics & numerical data , Mass Screening/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Sexual Partners , Adult , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States , Young Adult
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