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1.
Sex Reprod Health Matters ; 31(1): 2203001, 2023 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240714

ABSTRACT

Pandemic mitigation measures can have a negative impact on access and provision of essential healthcare services including sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. This rapid review looked at the literature on the impact of COVID-19 mitigation measures on SRH and gender-based violence (GBV) on women in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) using WHO rapid review guidance. We looked at relevant literature published in the English language from January 2020 to October 2021 from LMICs using WHO rapid review methods. A total of 114 articles were obtained from PubMed, Google Scholar and grey literature of which 20 met the eligible criteria. Our review found that there was an overall reduction in; (a) uptake of services as shown by lower antenatal, postnatal and family planning clinic attendance, (b) service delivery as shown by reduced health facility deliveries, and post abortion care services and (c) reproductive health outcomes as shown by an increase in incidence of GBV especially intimate partner violence. COVID-19 mitigation measures negatively impact SRH of women in LMICs. Findings from this review could inform policy makers in the health sector to recognise the potential adverse effects of COVID-19 responses on SRH in the country, and therefore implement mitigation measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual Health , Female , Humans , Pregnancy , Reproductive Health , Developing Countries , COVID-19/epidemiology , Sexual Behavior
2.
Actas Dermosifiliogr ; 114(7): T580-T586, 2023.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236178

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: SARS-CoV-2 is more easily spread by close contact, which is inherent to sexual intercourse. People with, or at risk for, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may therefore have higher rates of COVID-19. The aim of this study was to estimate SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence in people seen at a dedicated STI clinic, compare our findings to the estimated seroprevalence in the local general population, and study factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in this setting. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cross-sectional observational study including consecutive patients older than 18 years of age who had not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 and who underwent examination or screening at a dedicated municipal STI clinic in March and April 2021. We ordered rapid SARS-CoV-2 serology and collected information on demographic, social, and sexual variables, STI diagnoses, and history of symptoms compatible with SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: We studied 512 patients (37% women). Fourteen (24.2%) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. Variables associated with positivity were use of FFP2 masks (odds ratio 0.50) and a higher-than-average number of sexual partners (odds ratio 1.80). Use of FFP2 masks was not randomly distributed in this sample. CONCLUSIONS: Sexually active members of the population in this study had a higher incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the general population. The main route of infection in this group appears to be respiratory, linked to close contact during sexual encounters; sexual transmission of the virus is probably limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual Health , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Humans , Female , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Incidence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
3.
Sex Transm Infect ; 98(7): 525-527, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316592

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Adolescents and young adults (AYAs) face difficulties accessing sexual and reproductive health services. These difficulties were exacerbated for a variety of reasons by the COVID-19 pandemic. We document strategies and outcomes implemented at an urban youth sexual health clinic in Florida that allowed uninterrupted provision of services while protecting against spread of COVID-19. METHODS: The plan-do-study-act (PDSA) model was used to implement COVID-19 interventions designed to allow continued service delivery while protecting the health and safety of staff and patients. This method was applied to clinic operations, community referral systems and community outreach to assess and refine interventions within a quick-paced feedback loop. RESULTS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, changes made via PDSA cycles to clinical/navigation services, health communications and youth outreach/engagement effectively responded to AYA needs. Although overall numbers of youth served decreased, all youth contacting the clinic for services were able to be accommodated. Case finding rates for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV were similar to pre-pandemic levels. CONCLUSIONS: Quality improvement PDSA initiatives at AYA sexual health clinics, particularly those for underserved youth, can be used to adapt service delivery when normal operating models are disrupted. The ability for youth sexual health clinics to adapt to a changing healthcare landscape will be crucial in ensuring that under-resourced youth are able to receive needed services and ambitious Ending the HIV Epidemic goals are achieved.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual Health , Young Adult , Adolescent , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Quality Improvement , Pandemics/prevention & control , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control
4.
Actas Dermosifiliogr ; 114(7): 580-586, 2023.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2309807

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: SARS-CoV-2 is more easily spread by close contact, which is inherent to sexual intercourse. People with, or at risk for, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may therefore have higher rates of COVID-19. The aim of this study was to estimate SARS-CoV-2 antibody seroprevalence in people seen at a dedicated STI clinic, compare our findings to the estimated seroprevalence in the local general population, and study factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in this setting. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cross-sectional observational study including consecutive patients older than 18 years of age who had not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 and who underwent examination or screening at a dedicated municipal STI clinic in March and April 2021. We ordered rapid SARS-CoV-2 serology and collected information on demographic, social, and sexual variables, STI diagnoses, and history of symptoms compatible with SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: We studied 512 patients (37% women). Fourteen (24.2%) had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. Variables associated with positivity were use of FFP2 masks (odds ratio 0.50) and a higher-than-average number of sexual partners (odds ratio 1.80). Use of FFP2 masks was not randomly distributed in this sample. CONCLUSIONS: Sexually active members of the population in this study had a higher incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the general population. The main route of infection in this group appears to be respiratory, linked to close contact during sexual encounters; sexual transmission of the virus is probably limited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual Health , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Humans , Female , Male , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Incidence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
5.
Front Public Health ; 10: 1040097, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2308480

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Today, we are facing increased and continued adverse sexual health outcomes in the United States, including high post-COVID-19 pandemic rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For the past 20 years, there have been calls for a national health strategy and a more comprehensive sexual health approach to address the myriad of persistent sexual health problems in this country. Employing a sexual health approach requires shifting from a longstanding, stigmatizing focus on morbidity toward a holistic and integrated focus on health rather than disease. While strategies are being implemented by multisectoral stakeholders, it is also important to establish a core set of indicators that broadly describe the state of sexual health in the U.S. and allow for measurement across time. The development of a comprehensive scorecard with key sexual health indicators has been proposed by other entities (e.g., Public Health England, World Health Organization), but such an attempt has not been made in the U.S. Methods: A review of national U.S. surveys and surveillance systems with items related to sexual health was conducted for years 2010-2022 to develop an inventory of existing data that yield national estimates for potential indicators of sexual health. Results: We selected 23 sexual health indicators in four broad domains including: (1) knowledge; communication and attitudes (five indicators); (2) behaviors and relationships (four indicators); (3) service access and utilization (seven indicators); and (4) adverse health outcomes (seven indicators). Recent data for each indicator are provided. Discussion: A growing body of evidence shows the positive effects of moving away from a morbidity focus toward an integrated, health-promoting approach to sexual health. Yet, not much has been done in terms of how we implement this national shift. We argue that measurement and monitoring are key to future change. We envision these core sexual health indicators would be published in the form of an index that is publicly available and updated frequently. These sexual health indicators could be used for ongoing monitoring, and to guide related research, programming, and policy development to help promote sexual health in coming years.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual Health , Humans , United States/epidemiology , Pandemics , Public Health , Population Surveillance
6.
BMJ Sex Reprod Health ; 47(4): e16, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2299410

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: A weak and politicised COVID-19 pandemic response in the United States (US) that failed to prioritise sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) overlaid longstanding SRHR inequities. In this study we investigated how COVID-19 affected SRHR service provision in the US during the first 6 months of the pandemic. METHODS: We used a multiphase, three-part, mixed method approach incorporating: (1) a comprehensive review of state-by-state emergency response policies that mapped state-level actions to protect or suspend SRHR services including abortion, (2) a survey of SRHR service providers (n=40) in a sample of 10 states that either protected or suspended services and (3) in-depth interviews (n=15) with SRHR service providers and advocacy organisations. RESULTS: Twenty-one states designated some or all SRHR services as essential and therefore exempt from emergency restrictions. Protections, however, varied by state and were not always comprehensive. Fourteen states acted to suspend abortion. Five cross-cutting themes surrounding COVID-19's impact on SRHR services emerged across the survey and interviews: reductions in SRHR service provision; shifts in service utilisation; infrastructural impacts; the critical role of state and local governments; and exacerbation of SRHR inequities for certain groups. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates serious disruptions to the provision of SRHR care that exacerbated existing SRHR inequities. The presence or absence of policy protections for SRHR services had critical implications for providers and patients. Policymakers and service providers must prioritise and integrate SRHR into emergency preparedness planning and implementation, with earmarked funding and tailored service delivery for historically oppressed groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual Health , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Pregnancy , Reproductive Health , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
7.
Sex Health ; 20(2): 164-172, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2294570

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Sexually transmissible infections (STI) are prevalent and increasing among young Australians. This study examined trends in STI testing, sexual health knowledge/behaviours, and pornography use in young people aged 15- 29years in Victoria, Australia between 2015 and 2021. METHODS: Seven online cross-sectional surveys were conducted in a convenience sample of young people, recruiting a total of 7014 participants (67% female). Logistic regression analyses determined trends over time in binary outcomes. RESULTS: There was a decrease in reports of lifetime vaginal sex over time, while lifetime anal sex remained stable. Among those who had ever had vaginal sex, results showed an increase in the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives on the last occasion of vaginal sex. There was no change in STI testing or condom use with all partner types. Knowledge of STIs and sexual health changed over time: the proportion knowing that chlamydia can make women infertile decreased over time, while knowledge that taking the pill does not reduce fertility increased. There was no change in pornography use after adjusting for demographic variables. CONCLUSIONS: Although uptake of long-acting contraceptives increased, STI knowledge and testing, as well as consistent condom use, remained low. Public health interventions should continue to address these critical components of STI prevention.


Subject(s)
Sexual Health , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Female , Humans , Adolescent , Male , Victoria/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control , Erotica , Risk-Taking , Sexual Behavior , Contraceptive Agents
8.
Sex Health ; 20(2): 99-104, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2293643

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have provided evidence for the effectiveness of using doxycycline (Doxy-PEP) to prevent bacterial sexually transmissible infections (STI), namely chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis, among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men who have experienced multiple STIs. However, there remain several unanswered questions around potential adverse outcomes from Doxy-PEP, including the possibility of inducing antimicrobial resistance in STIs and other organisms, and the possibility of disrupting the microbiome of people who choose to use Doxy-PEP. This interim position statement from the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine aims to outline the current evidence for Doxy-PEP, and to highlight potential adverse outcomes, to enable clinicians to conduct evidence-based conversations with patients in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand who intend to use Doxy-PEP.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections , Hepatitis, Viral, Human , Sexual Health , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Male , Humans , Doxycycline/therapeutic use , Homosexuality, Male , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Post-Exposure Prophylaxis , New Zealand , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/prevention & control
9.
Sex Med Rev ; 10(4): 714-753, 2022 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304824

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic impacted profoundly on the wellbeing and social interactions of the world population, and all dimensions of sexual health were potentially affected by globally implemented preventive measures. OBJECTIVES: The scoping review aimed to compile existing research investigating possible effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on adult sexual health, that is, sexual behavior, functioning, and satisfaction. Further, studies on the interplay between mental health and sexual well-being during the pandemic were reviewed. METHODS: The review was conducted in accordance with guidelines established by the Joanna Briggs Institute and the Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) Checklist. On October 11-12, 2021, PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, Cinahl, Cochrane, Sociological Abstracts and Scopus were systematically searched for relevant peer-reviewed papers employing quantitative methodology. Additionally, unpublished ("grey") research studies on the subject were retrieved. The screening, data extraction, and analysis of evidence were conducted by 4 independent reviewers using an iterative approach. RESULTS: Based on 107 studies included, the scoping review showed that the pandemic had had a wide impact on all dimensions of sexual health. Except for solo sex activities, mainly negative COVID-19 implications were identified, although findings were, in sum, characterized by complexity and unpredictability. Thus, sexual behavior, functioning, and satisfaction during the pandemic appeared to be mitigated by a broad range of sociodemographic and contextual factors. Finally, sexual health seemed deeply entwined with overall mental health. CONCLUSION: The scoping review revealed a broad range of COVID-19-related effects on sexual health, including an overall decline in partnered sex and a concurrent increase in solo sex activities. It also emphasized a need for future research to shed light on possible long-term consequences of the pandemic in various population groups and on all aspects of sexual health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual Health , Adult , Humans , Pandemics , Communicable Disease Control , Personal Satisfaction
13.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(22)2022 Nov 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2283230

ABSTRACT

Due to the worldwide spread of COVID-19, some restrictions were introduced which could lead to the development of distress and somatic symptoms. This survey aimed to study the mental and sexual health of men during the COVID-19 outbreak. An online questionnaire was conducted to collect data on contact with people suspected of infection/infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, use of stimulants, and perceived mental and sexual health during isolation among Polish men. They were also asked to answer the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-15) questionnaire. In total, 606 men with a mean age of 28.46 ± 9.17 years took part in the survey. Fear of contracting the COVID-19 infection had a negative impact on the mental health of 132 men (21.8%). Fear of the health condition of loved ones caused stress and a depressed mood in 253 men (41.7%), and media reports worsened the mental health of 185 men (30.2%). In the BDI, 71.95% of the respondents did not suffer from depressive symptoms, 17.33% were diagnosed with mild depression, 6.11% with moderate depression, and 4.62% had severe depression. The mean score in the IIEF-15 questionnaire in the erectile function domain was 22.27, orgasm-7.63, desire-8.25, satisfaction-10.17, and general satisfaction-6.84. Depressive symptoms indicated more severe sexual functioning disorders (p < 0.001). Fear, following the media, and loneliness were associated with more severe depressive and sexual disorders (p < 0.001). The libido level (p = 0.002) and frequency of sexual activity (p < 0.001) were also lower during the pandemic than before the lockdown. These data showed that the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on male mental and sexual health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Erectile Dysfunction , Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological , Sexual Health , Humans , Male , Young Adult , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Depression/etiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Communicable Disease Control , Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological/epidemiology
14.
Sex Transm Dis ; 49(11S Suppl 2): S1-S6, 2022 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2261774
16.
AIDS Behav ; 27(8): 2731-2740, 2023 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2234455

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted health care delivery and exacerbated disparities. Many sexual health clinics transitioned to telemedicine, including for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients at an urban sexual health clinic to assess the likelihood and predictors of PrEP persistence in the year following PrEP initiation. We compared patients starting PrEP in the four months preceding the first COVID surge to those starting PrEP one year prior. We found lower PrEP persistence in the COVID cohort compared to the pre-COVID cohort (50.8% vs. 68.9%, respectively). In both cohorts, most care was provided through in-person visits and telemedicine was rare. In the pre-COVID cohort, older patients and those identifying as non-Hispanic White were more likely to persist on PrEP. In the COVID cohort, these disparities in PrEP persistence were not observed. Flexible models of care may facilitate equitable care engagement and re-engagement.


Subject(s)
Anti-HIV Agents , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Sexual Health , Humans , Male , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use
17.
J Interpers Violence ; 38(11-12): 7115-7142, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2224001

ABSTRACT

Intimate partner violence (IPV) causes substantial physical and psychological trauma. Restrictions introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including lockdowns and movement restrictions, may exacerbate IPV risk and reduce access to IPV support services. This cross-sectional study examines IPV during COVID-19 restrictions in 30 countries from the International Sexual HeAlth and REproductive Health (I-SHARE) study conducted from July 20th, 2020, to February, 15th, 2021. IPV was a primary outcome measure adapted from a World Health Organization multicountry survey. Mixed-effects modeling was used to determine IPV correlates among participants stratified by cohabitation status. The sample included 23,067 participants from 30 countries. A total of 1,070/15,336 (7.0%) participants stated that they experienced IPV during COVID-19 restrictions. A total of 1,486/15,336 (9.2%) participants stated that they had experienced either physical or sexual partner violence before the restrictions, which then decreased to 1,070 (7.0%) after the restrictions. In general, identifying as a sexual minority and experiencing greater economic vulnerability were associated with higher odds of experiencing IPV during COVID-19 restrictions, which were accentuated among participants who were living with their partners. Greater stringency of COVID-19 restrictions and living in urban or semi-urban areas were associated with lower odds of experiencing IPV in some settings. The I-SHARE data suggest a substantial burden of IPV during COVID-19 restrictions. However, the restrictions were correlated with reduced IPV in some settings. There is a need for investing in specific support systems for survivors of IPV during the implementation of restrictions designed to contain infectious disease outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Intimate Partner Violence , Sexual Health , Humans , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pandemics , Reproductive Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Intimate Partner Violence/psychology , Sexual Partners/psychology , Risk Factors
18.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 23(1): 29, 2023 Jan 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2196263

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 in Canada, the availability of sexual health services including sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) testing has been negatively impacted in the province of Ontario due to their designation as "non-essential" health services. As a result, many individuals wanting to access sexual healthcare continued to have unmet sexual health needs throughout the pandemic. In response to this, sexual health service providers have adopted alternative models of testing, such as virtual interventions and self-sampling/testing. Our objective was to investigate service providers' experiences of disruptions to STBBI testing during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, Canada, and their acceptability of alternative testing services. METHODS: Between October 2020-February 2021, we conducted semi-structured virtual focus groups (3) and in-depth interviews (11) with a diverse group of sexual health service providers (n = 18) including frontline workers, public health workers, sexual health nurses, physicians, and sexual health educators across Ontario. As part of a larger community-based research study, data collection and analysis were led by three Peer Researchers and a Community Advisory Board was consulted throughout the research process. Transcripts were transcribed verbatim and analysed with NVivo software following grounded theory. RESULTS: Service providers identified the reallocation of public health resources and staff toward COVID-19 management, and closures, reduced hours, and lower in-person capacities at sexual health clinics as the causes for a sharp decline in access to sexual health testing services. Virtual and self-sampling interventions for STBBI testing were adopted to increase service capacity while reducing risks of COVID-19 transmission. Participants suggested that alternative models of testing were more convenient, accessible, safe, comfortable, cost-effective, and less onerous compared to traditional clinic-based models, and that they helped fill the gaps in testing caused by the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Acceptability of virtual and self-sampling interventions for STBBI testing was high among service providers, and their lived experiences of implementing such services demonstrated their feasibility in the context of Ontario. There is a need to approach sexual health services as an essential part of healthcare and to sustain sexual health services that meet the needs of diverse individuals.


Subject(s)
Blood-Borne Infections , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ontario/epidemiology , Pandemics , Sexual Behavior , Sexual Health , Community-Based Participatory Research
19.
Swiss Med Wkly ; 152: w30192, 2022 06 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2202458

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Changes in mental and sexual health among men having sex with men (MSM) due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic remain unclear. METHODS: Design: Longitudinal analysis of an ongoing, multicentre, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) cohort (NCT03893188) in Switzerland. Participants: HIV-negative MSM aged ≥18 who completed at least one questionnaire before and one after the start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Outcomes: Primary: mental health, defined as anxiety and depression scores assessed by the Patient Health Questionnaire-4. Secondary: sexual behaviour, well-being, PrEP use and disruption of care. Outcomes were assessed over seven periods corresponding to different SARS-CoV-2 prevention measures in Switzerland. We performed pairwise comparisons between periods (Wilcoxon signed rank test). RESULTS: Data from 1,043 participants were included. Whilst anxiety scores remained stable over time, depression scores worsened in the second wave and the second lockdown period compared to pre-pandemic scores. This was confirmed by pairwise comparisons (pre-SARS-CoV-2/second wave and pre-SARS-CoV-2/second lockdown: p <0.001). Downward trends in sexual activity,sexualized substance use, and a switch from daily to "event-driven" PrEP were found. Disruption of care affected 42.6% (790/1856) of daily PrEP users' follow-up visits. CONCLUSION: In this longitudinal analysis of a PrEP cohort enrolling MSM, depression scores worsened in the second wave and the second lockdown compared to the pre-pandemic period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Sexual Health , Sexual and Gender Minorities , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , Communicable Disease Control , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Behavior
20.
Int J STD AIDS ; 34(5): 328-331, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2194998

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Following increased rates of domestic abuse/violence (DAV) reporting during the pandemic, London's online sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing service (Sexual Health London, SHL) introduced routine DAV enquiry and directed survivors to supportive online information. SHL evaluated this adaptation. METHOD: SHL's database identified the first individuals that ordered a test-kit between 17.8.21-28.2.22 and triggered questions disclosing DAV. SHL clinicians only contacted these individuals if positive/abnormal STI results required communicating. Within these interactions DAV was opportunistically discussed and further counselling/support offered. RESULTS: 3846/231460 (1.7%) service users triggered DAV question(s). The first 202 individuals were: median age 28 yrs (18-73 yrs); 66% (134/202) female; 72% (145/202) heterosexual; 75% (152/202) UK born. 27% (55/202) reported physical/emotional abuse, 81% (164/202) coercive control, and 22% (45/202) sexual abuse. 26% (52/202) had never visited a clinic. Telephonic discussion occurred with 10% (20/202) individuals: 10/20 accepted counselling/signposting; 2/20 referred to independent DAV advocate, 6/20 stated historic abuse, 2/20 mistakenly triggered, 2/10 declined support or disengaged. Of 29% (58/202) individuals that ordered another e-kit, 38% disclosed ongoing DAV and 9% sexual assault. CONCLUSION: 1.7% e-service users reported DAV. Telephonic DAV discussion was accepted by 80% individuals contacted. Despite providing online support 38% experienced ongoing/escalating abuse. Further engagement and support for DAV survivors using e-services is required.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Coronavirus , Domestic Violence , Sexual Health , Sexually Transmitted Diseases , Humans , Female , Adult , Pandemics , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/diagnosis , Sexually Transmitted Diseases/epidemiology , Physical Abuse
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