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1.
BMJ Open ; 11(12): e054208, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1623564

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Most existing vaccines require higher or additional doses or adjuvants to provide similar protection for people living with HIV (PLWH) compared with HIV-uninfected individuals. Additional research is necessary to inform COVID-19 vaccine use in PLWH. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This multicentred observational Canadian cohort study will enrol 400 PLWH aged >16 years from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Subpopulations of PLWH of interest will include individuals: (1) >55 years of age; (2) with CD4 counts <350 cells/mm3; (3) with multimorbidity (>2 comorbidities) and (4) 'stable' or 'reference' PLWH (CD4 T cells >350 cells/mm3, suppressed viral load for >6 months and <1 comorbidity). Data for 1000 HIV-negative controls will be obtained via a parallel cohort study (Stop the Spread Ottawa), using similar time points and methods. Participants receiving >1 COVID-19 vaccine will attend five visits: prevaccination; 1 month following the first vaccine dose; and at 3, 6 and 12 months following the second vaccine dose. The primary end point will be the percentage of PLWH with COVID-19-specific antibodies at 6 months following the second vaccine dose. Humoral and cell-mediated immune responses, and the interplay between T cell phenotypes and inflammatory markers, will be described. Regression techniques will be used to compare COVID-19-specific immune responses to determine whether there are differences between the 'unstable' PLWH group (CD4 <350 cells/mm3), the stable PLWH cohort and the HIV-negative controls, adjusting for factors believed to be associated with immune response. Unadjusted analyses will reveal whether there are differences in driving factors associated with group membership. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Research ethics boards at all participating institutions have granted ethics approval for this study. Written informed consent will be obtained from all study participants prior to enrolment. The findings will inform the design of future COVID-19 clinical trials, dosing strategies aimed to improve immune responses and guideline development for PLWH. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04894448.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , COVID-19 Vaccines , Canada , Cohort Studies , Diterpenes , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Observational Studies as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
2.
Br J Nurs ; 31(1): S10-S15, 2022 Jan 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622855

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a set of unprecedented challenges for healthcare services and staff. The authors conducted a national online survey of nurses employed to work in HIV services in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to establish how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the professional quality of life of HIV nurses. Professional quality of life was assessed using the ProQOL scale; 132 nurses completed the survey, 99 of whom completed the ProQOL scale. Just over 1 in 3 were redeployed in the first pandemic wave, dropping to 1 in 6 in subsequent waves. In multivariate analysis, redeployment in both waves increased burnout scores by nearly 10 points and decreased compassion satisfaction scores by nearly 5 points, with no effect on secondary traumatic stress scores. A supportive workplace environment will have a key role in supporting the path to recovery.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Job Satisfaction , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Molecules ; 27(1)2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613911

ABSTRACT

When developing drugs against SARS-CoV-2, it is important to consider the characteristics of patients with different co-morbidities. People infected with HIV-1 are a particularly vulnerable group, as they may be at a higher risk than the general population of contracting COVID-19 with clinical complications. For such patients, drugs with a broad spectrum of antiviral activity are of paramount importance. Glycyrrhizinic acid (Glyc) and its derivatives are promising biologically active compounds for the development of such broad-spectrum antiviral agents. In this work, derivatives of Glyc obtained by acylation with nicotinic acid were investigated. The resulting preparation, Glycyvir, is a multi-component mixture containing mainly mono-, di-, tri- and tetranicotinates. The composition of Glycyvir was characterized by HPLC-MS/MS and its toxicity assessed in cell culture. Antiviral activity against three strains of SARS-CoV-2 was tested in vitro on Vero E6 cells by MTT assay. Glycyvir was shown to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro (IC502-8 µM) with an antiviral activity comparable to the control drug Remdesivir. In addition, Glycyvir exhibited marked inhibitory activity against HIV pseudoviruses of subtypes B, A6 and the recombinant form CRF63_02A (IC50 range 3.9-27.5 µM). The time-dependence of Glycyvir inhibitory activity on HIV pseudovirus infection of TZM-bl cells suggested that the compound interfered with virus entry into the target cell. Glycyvir is a promising candidate as an agent with low toxicity and a broad spectrum of antiviral action.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Glycyrrhizic Acid/chemistry , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV-1/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HIV Infections/virology , HeLa Cells , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Vero Cells
4.
BMJ Open ; 12(1): e056009, 2022 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608870

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to identify levels of adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs and factors associated with them in Northwest Ethiopia. We hypothesise that in the era of COVID-19, there would be suboptimal adherence to ART drugs. DESIGN: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted. Factors associated with the level of adherence were selected for multiple logistic regressions at a p value of less than 0.2 in the analysis. Statistically significant associated factors were identified at a p value less than 0.05 and adjusted OR with a 95% CI. SETTING: The study was conducted in one specialised hospital and three district hospitals found in the South Gondar zone, Northwest Ethiopia. PARTICIPANTS: About 432 people living with HIV/AIDS receiving highly active ART in South Gondar zone public hospitals and who have been on treatment for more than a 3-month period participated in the study. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Levels of adherence to ART drugs and their associated factors. RESULTS: Among 432 study participants, 81.5% (95% CI: 78% to 85.2%) of participants were optimally adherent to ART drugs. Determinants of a low level of adherence: stigma or discrimination (OR=0.4, p=0.016), missed scheduled clinical visit (OR=0.45, p=0.034), being on tuberculosis treatment (OR=0.45, p=0.01), recent CD4 cell count less than 500 cells/mm3 (OR=0.3, p=0.023) and patients who had been on WHO clinical stage III at the time of ART initiation (OR=0.24, p=0.027) were factors significantly associated with adherence to ART drugs. CONCLUSIONS: Level of adherence was relatively low compared with some local studies. The intervention targeted to reduce discrimination, counselling before initiation of treatment and awareness regarding compliance is advised to improve adherence to antiretroviral regimens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethiopia , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Medication Adherence , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Front Public Health ; 9: 752965, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595569

ABSTRACT

Background: Solidarity, such as community connectedness and social cohesion, may be useful in improving HIV testing uptake among men who have sex with men (MSM). This study aimed to evaluate the impact of solidarity on HIV testing before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and HIV testing willingness during COVID-19 among MSM in China. Materials and Methods: An online survey was conducted to collect sociodemographic, sexual behavioral, and solidarity items' information from the participants. We first used factor analysis to reveal the principal component of the solidarity items and then used logistic regression to study the impact of solidarity on HIV testing, by adjusting the possible confounding factors, such as age and education. Results: Social cohesion and community connectedness were revealed by the factor analysis. MSM with high community connectedness were more willing to undergo HIV testing before the epidemic adjusted by age [odds ratio (OR): 1.07, 95% CI: 1.01-1.13]. The community connectedness was also related to the willingness of HIV testing during the epidemic, with adjustments of 1.09 (95% CI: 1.03-1.15). People who did not test for HIV before the COVID-19 epidemic were more willing to have the HIV test during the epidemic, which was correlated with the community connectedness, and the OR value was 1.14 (95%: 1.03-1.25). Conclusion: A high level of community connectedness helped to increase the HIV testing rate before COVID-19 and the willingness of HIV testing during the epidemic among MSM. Strategies can strengthen the role of the community in the management and service of MSM.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Cross-Sectional Studies , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Testing , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Glob Health Sci Pract ; 9(4): 978-989, 2021 12 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594125

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Faced with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, governments worldwide instituted lockdowns to curtail virus spread. Health facility closures and travel restrictions disrupted access to antiretroviral (ARV) therapy for people living with HIV. This report describes how HIV programs in Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, and Nigeria supported treatment continuation by introducing home delivery of ARVs. METHODS: Staff supporting the programs provided accounts of when and how decisions were taken to support ARV home delivery. They captured programmatic information about home delivery implementation using an intervention documentation tool. The 4 country experiences revealed lessons learned about factors favoring successful expansion of ARV home delivery. RESULTS: Three of the countries relied on existing networks of community health workers for ARV delivery; the fourth country, Indonesia, relied on a private sector courier service. Across the 4 countries, between 19% and 51% of eligible clients were served by home delivery. The experiences showed that ARV home delivery is feasible and acceptable to health service providers, clients, and other stakeholders. Essential to success was rapid mobilization of stakeholders who led the design of the home delivery mechanisms and provided leadership support of the service innovations. Timely service adaptation was made possible by pre-existing differentiated models of care supportive of community-based ARV provision by outreach workers. Home delivery models prioritized protection of client confidentiality and prevention measures for COVID-19. Sustainability of the innovation depends on reinforcement of the commodity management infrastructure and investment in financing mechanisms. CONCLUSION: Home delivery of ARVs is a feasible client-centered approach to be included among the options for decentralized drug distribution. It serves as a measure for expanding access to care both when access to health services is disrupted and under routine circumstances.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Communicable Disease Control , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Indonesia , Laos , Nepal , Nigeria , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care ; 33(1): 9-21, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593931

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Despite the availability of HIV prevention and treatment tools, HIV disparities continue to affect Latinx sexual minority men (LSMM). Behavioral health concerns further exacerbate HIV disparities among LSMM. This study used rapid qualitative analysis to understand factors influencing LSMM's access to HIV and behavioral health services during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Participants included LSMM with (n = 10) and without HIV (n = 10). The analysis identified 15 themes. Themes revealed that LSMM's access was disrupted by new and worsening barriers resulting from COVID-19, such as anxiety about COVID-19 exposure, confusion and disruptions to services, and new structural challenges. Other themes highlight positive changes, such as telehealth and relaxed clinic protocols, which enhanced LSMM's access to services during COVID-19. The findings suggest the need for HIV and behavioral health clinics to innovate and ensure LSMM's continued access to services during and beyond COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Florida , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Health Services , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 24(12): e25846, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591262

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: While pregnant people have been an important focus for HIV research, critical evidence gaps remain regarding prevention, co-infection, and safety and efficacy of new antiretroviral therapies in pregnancy. Such gaps can result in harm: without safety data, drugs used may carry unacceptable risks to the foetus or pregnant person; without pregnancy-specific dosing data, pregnant people face risks of both toxicity and undertreatment; and delays in gathering evidence can limit access to beneficial next-generation drugs. Despite recognition of the need, numerous barriers and ethical complexities have limited progress. We describe the process, ethical foundations, recommendations and applications of guidance for advancing responsible inclusion of pregnant people in HIV/co-infections research. DISCUSSION: The 26-member international and interdisciplinary Pregnancy and HIV/AIDS: Seeking Equitable Study (PHASES) Working Group was convened to develop ethics-centred guidance for advancing timely, responsible HIV/co-infections research with pregnant people. Deliberations over 3 years drew on extensive qualitative research, stakeholder engagement, expert consultation and a series of workshops. The guidance, initially issued in July 2020, highlights conceptual shifts needed in framing research with pregnant people, and articulates three ethical foundations to ground recommendations: equitable protection from drug-related risks, timely access to biomedical advances and equitable respect for pregnant people's health interests. The guidance advances 12 specific recommendations, actionable within the current regulatory environment, addressing multiple stakeholders across drug development and post-approval research, and organized around four themes: building capacity, supporting inclusion, achieving priority research and ensuring respect. The recommendations describe strategies towards ethically redressing the evidence gap for pregnant people around HIV and co-infections. The guidance has informed key efforts of leading organizations working to advance needed research, and identifies further opportunities for impact by a range of stakeholder groups. CONCLUSIONS: There are clear pathways towards ethical inclusion of pregnant people in the biomedical research agenda, and strong agreement across the HIV research community about the need for - and the promise of - advancing them. Those who fund, conduct, oversee and advocate for research can use the PHASES guidance to facilitate more, better and earlier evidence to optimize the health and wellbeing of pregnant people and their children.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome , Biomedical Research , Coinfection , HIV Infections , Child , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Pregnancy , Stakeholder Participation
10.
AIDS ; 36(2): 161-168, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583938

ABSTRACT

The relative susceptibility of people with HIV (PWH) to Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is debated. Numerous studies have been published with apparently contradictory findings, but comparisons are difficult because they have been conducted in populations with different characteristics (e.g. age, prevalence comorbidities) and have used different comparison groups (e.g. HIV-negative cohorts, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalized patients, general population), and because of challenges to measure the most important confounders. Here, we review the evidence regarding risk and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in PWH compared with persons without HIV. Publications originate largely from high-income settings where the majority of the PWH are on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Despite early evidence supporting higher frequency of SARS-CoV-2 testing in PWH on ART, HIV infection is not associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, once confounding by socioeconomic characteristic is taken into account. Most publications identify increased COVID-19 severity in PWH compared with people without HIV from the general population or compared with COVID-19 hospitalized patients. The only study with an adequate comparison group to reduce confounding, has not identified differences in COVID-19 disease severity by HIV. Publications consistently identify that COVID-19 severity in PWH is not homogeneous and increases with age and baseline comorbidities. As PWH have a higher prevalence of comorbidities than people without HIV, examining their respective contribution to poor health outcomes is not straight forward as comorbidities could mediate the effect of HIV on COVID-19 outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Anti-Retroviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Testing , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/drug therapy , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Reprod Health ; 18(1): 252, 2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582052

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Despite gendered dimensions of COVID-19 becoming increasingly apparent, the impact of COVID-19 and other respiratory epidemics on women and girls' sexual and reproductive health (SRH) have yet to be synthesized. This review uses a reproductive justice framework to systematically review empirical evidence of the indirect impacts of respiratory epidemics on SRH. METHODS: We searched MEDLINE and CINAHL for original, peer-reviewed articles related to respiratory epidemics and women and girls' SRH through May 31, 2021. Studies focusing on various SRH outcomes were included, however those exclusively examining pregnancy, perinatal-related outcomes, and gender-based violence were excluded due to previously published systematic reviews on these topics. The review consisted of title and abstract screening, full-text screening, and data abstraction. RESULTS: Twenty-four studies met all eligibility criteria. These studies emphasized that COVID-19 resulted in service disruptions that effected access to abortion, contraceptives, HIV/STI testing, and changes in sexual behaviors, menstruation, and pregnancy intentions. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the need to enact policies that ensure equitable, timely access to quality SRH services for women and girls, despite quarantine and distancing policies. Research gaps include understanding how COVID-19 disruptions in SRH service provision, access and/or utilization have impacted underserved populations and those with intersectional identities, who faced SRH inequities notwithstanding an epidemic. More robust research is also needed to understand the indirect impact of COVID-19 and epidemic control measures on a wider range of SRH outcomes (e.g., menstrual disorders, fertility services, gynecologic oncology) in the long-term.


The impact of respiratory epidemics, like COVID-19 on women and girls' sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is not yet known. This review applies a reproductive justice framework, to systematically review the impact of respiratory epidemics on SRH, in order to examine the impact of COVID-19 on equitable, sustained access to quality SRH services for all populations. This framework highlights the right to reproductive autonomy, including the right to have an abortion, conceive, bear and raise children; and is inclusive of the intersectionality of race, class and gender. This review includes original, peer-reviewed research related to COVID-19 and women and girls' SRH through May 31, 2021, and consisted of title and abstract screening, full-text screening, and data abstraction. Overall, twenty-four studies met eligibility criteria. Results emphasize that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in service disruptions that effected access to abortion, contraceptives, HIV/STI testing, and changes in changes in sexual behaviors, menstruation, and pregnancy intentions. These findings highlight the urgent need to enact policies that ensure equitable, timely access to quality SRH services for women and girls, despite pandemic response policies. This review also highlights opportunities to better understand how COVID-19 related disruptions in SRH service provision, access and/or utilization have impacted underserved populations and those with intersectional identities, who faced SRH inequities prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. More research is needed to understand the indirect impact of COVID-19 and epidemic control measures on a wider range of SRH outcomes (e.g., menstrual disorders, fertility services, gynecologic oncology) in the long-term.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Reproductive Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Social Justice
12.
AIDS Patient Care STDS ; 36(1): 34-44, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585202

ABSTRACT

As COVID-19 vaccinations became available in early 2021, we collected data from a US national sample of 496 people living with HIV (PLWH) to assess COVID-19 vaccination uptake and attitudes. The study was cross-sectional, and data were collected using an online survey between March and May 2021. At the time, 64% of the participants received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine uptake was associated with older age and more years living with HIV, higher educational attainment, less vaccine hesitancy, and higher perceived COVID-19 vulnerability. Rates of vaccination uptake were highest among sexual and gender minority (SGM) cisgender men and transgender participants as well as those more likely to report undetectable viral load. Among the 166 unvaccinated, intention to receive the vaccine was related to older age and years living with HIV as well as lower vaccine hesitancy. Among the unvaccinated, SGM individuals demonstrated higher intent than non-SGM individuals. Findings indicate relatively high levels of vaccination in PLWH, although uptake and intent are not monolithic in the population. Patterns of vaccination are consistent with the health behavior literature in so much as those with higher levels of perceived heath vulnerability due to age as well as higher levels of proactivity about their HIV health are more likely to be vaccinated or intend to be vaccinated. Ongoing vigilance is required to vaccinate the US population, particularly those with underlying conditions such as HIV, as is the need to tailor health messaging to the highly diverse population of PLWH, with particular emphasis on the intersection of HIV and SGM status.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
13.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr ; 88(3): 299-304, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574388

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We assessed the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on HIV suppression rates in people living with HIV (PLWH) attending a large Italian HIV clinic. SETTING: The HIV outpatient clinic of the Infectious Diseases Department of Luigi Sacco Hospital, Milan, Italy, which serves more than 5000 PLWH per year. METHODS: A before and after quasi-experimental study design was used to make a retrospective assessment of the monthly trend of HIV-RNA determinations of ≥50 among the PLWH attending our clinic, with "before" being the period from January 1, 2016 to February 20, 2020, and "after" being the period from February 21, 2020 to December 31, 2020 (the COVID-19 period). Interrupted time series analysis was used to evaluate any changes in the trend. RESULTS: During the study period, 70,349 HIV-RNA viral load determinations were made, and the percentage of HIV-RNA viral load determinations of <50 copies/mL increased from 88.4% in 2016 to 93.2% in 2020 (P < 0.0001). There was a significant monthly trend toward a decrease in the number of HIV-RNA determinations of ≥50 copies/mL before the pandemic (ß -0.084; standard error 0.015; P < 0.001), and this did not significantly change after it started (ß -0.039, standard error 0.161; P = 0.811). CONCLUSIONS: A high prevalence of viral suppression was maintained among the PLWH referring to our clinic, despite the structural barriers raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of simplified methods of delivering care (such as teleconsultations and multiple antiretroviral treatment prescriptions) may have contributed to preserving this continuum.


Subject(s)
Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Ambulatory Care Facilities , Anti-HIV Agents/administration & dosage , Delivery of Health Care/methods , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV-1 , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , RNA, Viral/blood , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load/drug effects
15.
J Leukoc Biol ; 110(1): 21-26, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574077

ABSTRACT

The global pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly pathogenic RNA virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans. Although most patients with COVID-19 have mild illness and may be asymptomatic, some will develop severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure, and death. RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 are capable of hijacking the epigenetic landscape of host immune cells to evade antiviral defense. Yet, there remain considerable gaps in our understanding of immune cell epigenetic changes associated with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection pathology. Here, we examined genome-wide DNA methylation (DNAm) profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 9 terminally-ill, critical COVID-19 patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 plasma viremia compared with uninfected, hospitalized influenza, untreated primary HIV infection, and mild/moderate COVID-19 HIV coinfected individuals. Cell-type deconvolution analyses confirmed lymphopenia in severe COVID-19 and revealed a high percentage of estimated neutrophils suggesting perturbations to DNAm associated with granulopoiesis. We observed a distinct DNAm signature of severe COVID-19 characterized by hypermethylation of IFN-related genes and hypomethylation of inflammatory genes, reinforcing observations in infection models and single-cell transcriptional studies of severe COVID-19. Epigenetic clock analyses revealed severe COVID-19 was associated with an increased DNAm age and elevated mortality risk according to GrimAge, further validating the epigenetic clock as a predictor of disease and mortality risk. Our epigenetic results reveal a discovery DNAm signature of severe COVID-19 in blood potentially useful for corroborating clinical assessments, informing pathogenic mechanisms, and revealing new therapeutic targets against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , DNA Methylation/genetics , Epigenesis, Genetic , Genome, Human , COVID-19/virology , HIV Infections/genetics , Humans , Influenza, Human/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
17.
J Int AIDS Soc ; 24(12): e25845, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568146

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In public clinics in Kenya, separate, sequential delivery of the component services of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) (e.g. HIV testing, counselling, and dispensing) creates long wait times that hinder clients' ability and desire to access and continue PrEP. We conducted a mixed methods study in four public clinics in western Kenya to identify strategies for operationalizing a one-stop shop (OSS) model and evaluate whether this model could improve client wait time and care acceptability among clients and providers without negatively impacting uptake or continuation. METHODS: From January 2020 through November 2020, we collected and analysed 47 time-and-motion observations using Mann-Whitney U tests, 29 provider and client interviews, 68 technical assistance reports, and clinic flow maps from intervention clinics. We used controlled interrupted time series (cITS) to compare trends in PrEP initiation and on-time returns from a 12-month pre-intervention period (January-December 2019) to an 8-month post-period (January-November 2020, excluding a 3-month COVID-19 wash-out period) at intervention and control clinics. RESULTS: From the pre- to post-period, median client wait time at intervention clinics dropped significantly from 31 to 6 minutes (p = 0.02), while median provider contact time remained around 23 minutes (p = 0.4). Intervention clinics achieved efficiency gains by moving PrEP delivery to lower volume departments, moving steps closer together (e.g. relocating supplies; cross-training and task-shifting), and differentiating clients based on the subset of services needed. Clients and providers found the OSS model highly acceptable and additionally identified increased privacy, reduced stigma, and higher quality client-provider interactions as benefits of the model. From the pre- to post-period, average monthly initiations at intervention and control clinics increased by 6 and 2.3, respectively, and percent of expected follow-up visits occurring on time decreased by 18% and 26%, respectively; cITS analysis of PrEP initiations (n = 1227) and follow-up visits (n = 2696) revealed no significant difference between intervention and control clinics in terms of trends in PrEP initiation and on-time returns (all p>0.05). CONCLUSIONS: An OSS model significantly improved client wait time and care acceptability without negatively impacting initiations or continuations, thus highlighting opportunities to improve the efficiency of PrEP delivery efficiency and client-centredness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Implementation Science , Kenya , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Cult Health Sex ; 23(11): 1500-1515, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1562058

ABSTRACT

Research increasingly considers how collective narratives/experiences of HIV influence understandings of and responses to COVID-19 among men who have sex with men and how these discussions articulate with the larger literature on the social significance of epidemics. Drawing on interviews with 30 men who have sex with men, as well as discussion of epidemics as dramaturgical events, this study aimed to determine how men living in the USA make sense of COVID-19 in the light of their collective knowledge and/or memories of the HIV pandemic. Participants experienced progressive revelations regarding COVID-19's seriousness and constructed frameworks with which to manage the unpredictability of infection. Participants also believed that the initial public response to COVID-19 on the part of the US federal government, health officials and the scientific community, although inadequate, was stronger and more extensive than the response had been to HIV. As communities and the USA negotiated their pandemic responses, participants negotiated their own personal responses with incomplete, uncertain, dynamic and conflicting information. This study provides evidence regarding the social organisation of a contemporary pandemic and how individuals perceive and guard against risk, assign responsibility for virus transmission and acquisition, and navigate the threat of a potentially deadly infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Cult Health Sex ; 23(11): 1516-1531, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561352

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we explore the relationship between "viral load" as a virological, immunological, epidemiological and social category and how it links the four decades-long global HIV pandemic to the ongoing response to COVID-19. We argue, metaphorically, that the response to SARS-CoV-2 contains 'genetic' material from HIV, which has (as a result of the digital age which reproduces error-filled data at incredible speed) mutated and is being transmitted into the social and political body. Using sexual health and substance use as focal points, we turn to Deleuzoguattarian theoretical insights about the assemblage of desire, affect and material factors that produce epidemics. Contrasting historical and contemporary scenes and issues, we explore the complex assemblage created by viral loads, medical and public health protocols, conceptions of risk, responsibility and fear that connect both pandemics. Finally, we consider the goal of viral eradication and related militaristic metaphors, alongside the increasing convergence of medicine, public health, the law and corporate interests, and contrast this with community responses that engage with what it means to be living and dying in viral times.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Cult Health Sex ; 23(11): 1470-1484, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560839

ABSTRACT

The emergence of COVID-19 precipitated varied responses from public health officials in London, England. In April 2020, clinicians at 56 Dean Street sexual health and advice clinic in central London described social isolation as 'a unique window of opportunity' to 'break the chain' in HIV transmission. This was followed by critical responses within HIV prevention circles. Drawing from these responses, this article examines the implications of the clinic's 'Test Now, Stop HIV' campaign by asking how has the early COVID-19 pandemic reshaped institutional responses and strategies to end HIV transmission in England? We assess how campaign messages developed between April and May 2020. We analyse materials related to the campaign, including the clinic's Twitter account, the campaign website, and journalism in mainstream media. Based on this information, we discuss three themes: testing and issues of access; the biopolitics of testing; and the idealism of quarantine. We draw on sociology, cultural theory and science and technology studies to describe how the 'end of HIV' was constructed through the link between COVID-19 and HIV. We suggest the campaign reinscribes historical perceptions of abstinence and quarantine as idealised HIV prevention strategies, and thus fails to address safer sex in the time of Coronavirus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Pandemics , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2
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