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PLoS One ; 16(9): e0249740, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403293


BACKGROUND: Central to measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on HIV is understanding the role of loss of access to essential HIV prevention and care services created by clinic and community-based organization closures. In this paper, we use a comprehensive list of HIV prevention services in four corridors of the US heavily impacted by HIV, developed as part of a large RCT, to illustrate the potential impact of service closure on LGBTQ+ youth. METHODS: We identified and mapped LGBTQ+ friendly services offering at least one of the following HIV-related services: HIV testing; STI testing; PrEP/PEP; HIV treatment and care; and other HIV-related services in 109 counties across four major interstate corridors heavily affected by HIV US Census regions: Pacific (San Francisco, CA to San Diego, CA); South-Atlantic (Washington, DC to Atlanta, GA); East-North-Central (Chicago, IL to Detroit, MI); and East-South-Central (Memphis, TN to New Orleans, LA). RESULTS: There were a total of 831 LGBTQ+ youth-friendly HIV service providers across the 109 counties. There was a range of LGBTQ+ youth-friendly HIV-service provider availability across counties (range: 0-14.33 per 10,000 youth aged 13-24 (IQR: 2.13), median: 1.09); 9 (8.26%) analyzed counties did not have any LGBTQ+ youth-friendly HIV service providers. The Pearson correlation coefficient for the correlation between county HIV prevalence and LGBTQ+ youth-friendly HIV service provider density was 0.16 (p = 0.09), suggesting only a small, non-statistically significant linear relationship between a county's available LGBTQ+ youth-friendly HIV service providers and their HIV burden. CONCLUSIONS: As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we must find novel, affordable ways to continue to provide sexual health, mental health and other support services to LGBTQ+ youth.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/methods , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics , Sexual and Gender Minorities/education , Adolescent , Adult , Humans , Prevalence , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult