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1.
J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv ; 60(4): 7-10, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1771304

ABSTRACT

More than 54 million people in the United States are aged ≥65 years, including an estimated 2.4 million people who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). As a group, LGBTQ older adults experienced criminalization, discrimination, and social stigma the majority of their lives, with rates of victimization and stigma increasing with age. LGBTQ older adults continue to experience social and health disparities compared to heterosexual individuals. To meet the needs of LGBTQ older adults, it is necessary to understand the impact of politics, culture, and social norms as they came of age. Unique mental health needs, such as social isolation, loneliness, disenfranchised grief, and long-term social support, are discussed through the lens of the minority stress model. Implications and recommendations for health care, research, and policy, such as creating a safe and welcoming environment and providing culturally competent care for LGBTQ older adults, are discussed. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 60(4), 7-10.].


Subject(s)
Sexual and Gender Minorities , Transgender Persons , Aged , Female , Gender Identity , Humans , Mental Health , Social Stigma , Transgender Persons/psychology , United States
2.
Psychiatry Res ; 309: 114391, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683545

ABSTRACT

There is a dearth of public health data and research focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ+) populations during the coronavirus ("COVID") pandemic. This study evaluated how COVID has impacted health, social, and occupational areas of functioning of the LGBTQ+ community. A community survey was distributed via email by local LGBTQ+ community organizations between September and December 2020. Participants (cisgender, heterosexual people, n = 63; cisgender sexual minority people, n = 184; and gender minority people, n = 74) were asked how COVID has impacted their life circumstances (i.e., physical health, mental health, financial stability, meeting basic needs, and social connectedness). A multivariate analysis of covariance was tested with these groups, demographic and HIV serostatus variables as independent variables and covariates, and outcomes as dependent variables. Compared to cisgender, heterosexual people, significantly more cisgender sexual minority people reported worsening physical health, and significantly more gender minority people reported worsening of all outcomes. Significantly more gender minority people reported worsening financial stability than cisgender sexual minority people. COVID has contributed to a worsening of life circumstances among the LGBTQ+ community, especially for gender minority people. More research is needed to create proactive, equitable, culturally-focused responses and interventions to pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Transgender Persons , Female , Heterosexuality , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Transgender Persons/psychology
3.
J Sex Med ; 19(4): 650-660, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1670831

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Gender-affirming and supportive relations for transgender youth are considered protective in terms of mental health. AIM: To describe how transgender youth perceived changes in their gender expression, in the course of the gender-affirming path, and the effect of social connectedness and social support on depression and anxiety during the pandemic. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, transgender youth completed an online survey developed to evaluate the perceived changes in gender expression and affirmation path that occurred during COVID-19 and the age-stratified lockdown. Furthermore, we aimed to investigate the effect of social connectedness and social support on depression and anxiety in this population during the pandemic. The participants completed the following scales: Social Connectedness Scale Revised (SCS-R), Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). The effect of lockdown on life conditions, gender expression, social and medical gender-affirming path, social connectedness, social support, depression, and anxiety levels were examined. Linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the relationships between BDI and STAI scores and other variables. OUTCOMES: The relationship between the levels of perceived social connectedness, and social support, the pandemic-related changes in living conditions and depression and anxiety scores were calculated. RESULTS: A total of 49 transgender youth with a mean age of 20.53 ± 1.86 years were enrolled. Participants reporting discomfort at the place they live and who had difficulties concerning gender expression and affirmation had higher depression and anxiety scores and perceived lower social support from their family. Social connectedness score was a significant negative predictor of depression severity, whereas social connectedness and social support were both significant negative predictors of anxiety severity. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Our results show increased adversity for transgender youth when connectedness with supportive people is diminished. During the COVID-19 pandemic, social connectedness and social support perceived by transgender youth are associated with better mental health. STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS: This is one of the first studies to evaluate the changes that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic in transgender youth with relation to social support and connectedness, during an age-stratified lockdown. The main limitations were the small study size, skewed gender ratio and that the study sample came from a single gender clinic. CONCLUSION: As social connectedness and social support are significant predictors of depression and anxiety severity, special attention is needed to increase contact and support for transgender youth during the pandemic. Tüzün Z, Basar K, Akgül S. Social Connectedness Matters: Depression and Anxiety in Transgender Youth During the COVID-19 Pandemic. J Sex Med 2022;19:650-660.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transgender Persons , Adolescent , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Transgender Persons/psychology , Young Adult
4.
Arch Sex Behav ; 51(1): 343-354, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556372

ABSTRACT

Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increasing body of research focused on the effects that measures like stay-at-home orders and social distancing are having on other aspects of health, including mental health and sexual health. Currently, there are limited extant data on the effects of the pandemic on sexual and gender minorities. Between April 15, 2020, and May 15, 2020, we invited participants in an ongoing U.S. national cohort study (Together 5000) to complete a cross-sectional online survey about the pandemic, and its effects on mental and sexual health and well-being (n = 3991). Nearly all (97.7%) were living in an area where they were told they should only leave their homes for essentials. Most (70.1%) reported reducing their number of sex partners as a result of the pandemic. Among the 789 participants prescribed HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), 29.9% said they stopped taking their PrEP entirely, and 14.2% started selectively skipping doses. For those who had been taking PrEP, discontinuing PrEP was associated with having no new sex partners (ß = 0.90, 95% CI 0.40-1.40). Among the 152 HIV-positive participants, 30.9% said they were unable to maintain an HIV-related medical appointment because of the pandemic and 13.8% said they had been unable to retrieve HIV medications. Additionally, 35.3% of participants were experiencing moderate to severe anxiety because of the pandemic and 36.7% reported symptoms of depression. In a multivariable logistic regression, reporting a new sex partner in the prior 30 days was significantly associated with being aged 30 or older (vs. not, AOR = 1.21), being Black (AOR = 1.79) or Latinx (AOR = 1.40, vs. white), and being unsure if they had been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 (AOR = 1.32, vs. no contact). It was unassociated with COVID-19-induced anxiety, depression, or knowing someone hospitalized with COVID-19. The pandemic has caused disruptions in sexual behavior (partner reduction) as well as difficulties navigating PrEP and HIV care continua. Findings will guide more comprehensive public health responses to optimize HIV prevention and treatment in the era of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Transgender Persons , Adult , Cohort Studies , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , HIV Infections/psychology , Homosexuality, Male/psychology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Behavior , Transgender Persons/psychology
5.
Lancet ; 397(10279): 1116-1126, 2021 03 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525995

ABSTRACT

Men who have sex with men (MSM) in the USA were the first population to be identified with AIDS and continue to be at very high risk of HIV acquisition. We did a systematic literature search to identify the factors that explain the reasons for the ongoing epidemic in this population, using a social-ecological perspective. Common features of the HIV epidemic in American MSM include role versatility and biological, individual, and social and structural factors. The high-prevalence networks of some racial and ethnic minority men are further concentrated because of assortative mixing, adverse life experiences (including high rates of incarceration), and avoidant behaviour because of negative interactions with the health-care system. Young MSM have additional risks for HIV because their impulse control is less developed and they are less familiar with serostatus and other risk mitigation discussions. They might benefit from prevention efforts that use digital technologies, which they often use to meet partners and obtain health-related information. Older MSM remain at risk of HIV and are the largest population of US residents with chronic HIV, requiring culturally responsive programmes that address longer-term comorbidities. Transgender MSM are an understudied population, but emerging data suggest that some are at great risk of HIV and require specifically tailored information on HIV prevention. In the current era of pre-exposure prophylaxis and the undetectable equals untransmittable campaign, training of health-care providers to create culturally competent programmes for all MSM is crucial, since the use of antiretrovirals is foundational to optimising HIV care and prevention. Effective control of the HIV epidemic among all American MSM will require scaling up programmes that address their common vulnerabilities, but are sufficiently nuanced to address the specific sociocultural, structural, and behavioural issues of diverse subgroups.


Subject(s)
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/epidemiology , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male/statistics & numerical data , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/drug therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Anti-Retroviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , HIV Infections/transmission , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Minority Groups/psychology , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/methods , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sexual Behavior/psychology , Sexual Partners/psychology , Transgender Persons/psychology , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
7.
Pediatr Ann ; 50(9): e366-e370, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417220

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has put strains on transgender and gender expansive (TGE) children and youth, with increased rates of anxiety and depression, lower access to medical and mental health services, and greater exposure to unaccepting home environments. At the same time, for some of these young people, particularly those with supportive living situations, sheltering in place and online schooling has afforded them the opportunity to freely explore and consolidate their gender, protected from the strains of socially induced anxieties, and anticipated or experienced negative, hostile messages from their surrounding environment (ie, school or public meeting places). Culling from emerging data on the psychosocial effects of the pandemic on TGE children and youth, an argument is made for an understanding of these young people's experiences as both stress-inducing and resilience-building, each existing in dialectic tension with the other. Providers are called on to hold both in mind to fortify the biopsychosocial well-being of transgender and gender expansive children and youth. [Pediatr Ann. 2021;50(9):e366-e370.].


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physical Distancing , Transgender Persons/psychology , Transsexualism/psychology , Adolescent , Child , Gender Identity , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
8.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0254215, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304466

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Transgender and nonbinary people are disproportionately affected by structural barriers to quality healthcare, mental health challenges, and economic hardship. This study examined the impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis and subsequent control measures on gender-affirming care, mental health, and economic stability among transgender and nonbinary people in multiple countries. METHODS: We collected multi-national, cross-sectional data from 964 transgender and nonbinary adult users of the Hornet and Her apps from April to August 2020 to characterize changes in gender-affirming care, mental health, and economic stability as a result of COVID-19. We conducted Poisson regression models to assess if access to gender-affirming care and ability to live according to one's gender were related to depressive symptoms, anxiety, and changes in suicidal ideation. RESULTS: Individuals resided in 76 countries, including Turkey (27.4%, n = 264) and Thailand (20.6%, n = 205). A majority were nonbinary (66.8%, n = 644) or transfeminine (29.4%, n = 283). Due to COVID-19, 55.0% (n = 320/582) reported reduced access to gender-affirming resources, and 38.0% (n = 327/860) reported reduced time lived according to their gender. About half screened positive for depression (50.4%,442/877) and anxiety (45.8%, n = 392/856). One in six (17.0%, n = 112/659) expected losses of health insurance, and 77.0% (n = 724/940) expected income reductions. The prevalence of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and increased suicidal ideation were 1.63 (95% CI: 1.36-1.97), 1.61 (95% CI: 1.31-1.97), and 1.74 (95% CI: 1.07-2.82) times higher for individuals whose access to gender-affirming resources was reduced versus not. DISCUSSION: The COVID-19 crisis is associated with reduced access to gender-affirming resources and the ability of transgender and nonbinary people to live according to their gender worldwide. These reductions may drive the increased depressive symptoms, anxiety, and suicidal ideation reported in this sample. To improve health of transgender and nonbinary communities, increased access to gender-affirming resources should be prioritized through policies (e.g., digital prescriptions), flexible interventions (e.g., telehealth), and support for existing transgender health initiatives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Reassignment Procedures/economics , Transgender Persons/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
9.
Front Public Health ; 9: 598921, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282419

ABSTRACT

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on mental health among HIV high-risk populations is not known. We assess the prevalence of depressive symptoms (DS) and explore the association with characteristics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We conducted an online survey among 881 men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW) assessing the presence of DS using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD-10); results were compared with previously self-reported DS and national data. We applied latent class analysis (LCA) to identify classes of participants with similar COVID-19 related characteristics. The overall prevalence of significant DS was 53.3%. By LCA posterior probabilities we identified three classes: (1) minimal impact of COVID-19 (54.1%), (2) objective risk for COVID-19 (41.5%), and (3) anxiety and economic stress caused by COVID-19 (4.4%). Multivariate logistic regression showed that compared with those in class one, the odds to have significant DS were almost five times higher for those in class three. Our findings suggest high levels of depression among MSM and TGW in Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight the need for the provision of targeted psychological interventions to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 on the mental health.


Subject(s)
Depression , Sexual and Gender Minorities , Transgender Persons , COVID-19 , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Homosexuality, Male , Humans , Latent Class Analysis , Male , Mexico/epidemiology , Pandemics , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology , Transgender Persons/psychology
10.
Psychiatry Res ; 302: 114042, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253497

ABSTRACT

We assessed the effects of the COVID19 lockdown on the mental health of transgender and gender non-conforming (TGN) youth (n = 18) vs cisgender youth (29 males; 29 females). Coronavirus Health Impact Survey (CRISIS) and Emotion Regulation Questionnaire were used in an online study. No group differences were found in demographic variables and exposure to COVID19. Negative emotions/feeling increased for all groups. Cisgender youth reported using more adaptive emotion regulation strategies than TGN youth. While the lockdown similarly affected TGN and cisgender youth, the former showed elevated levels of symptomatology and fewer adaptive emotional regulation strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics , Quarantine/psychology , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Health Surveys , Humans , Male , Pilot Projects , Sexual and Gender Minorities/statistics & numerical data , Transgender Persons/psychology , Transgender Persons/statistics & numerical data
11.
Drug Alcohol Depend ; 223: 108701, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174194

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Substantial concern exists regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on substance use behaviors. This is especially true for subpopulations like young men who have sex with men and young transgender women (YMSM-YTW) who report higher rates of substance use. This study examines changes in prevalence and frequency of marijuana and non-marijuana drug use among YMSM-YTW following the onset of the pandemic. METHOD: Data for this analysis (n = 458 participants, 1356 observations) come from an ongoing longitudinal cohort study of YMSM-YTW. A series of Bayesian multilevel models were used to examine change in prevalence and frequency of use for marijuana and non-marijuana drugs. RESULTS: Results indicated no systematic change in prevalence or frequency of marijuana use. However, a decrease in non-marijuana drug use was observed (OR = 0.60, 95 % CrI: [0.37, 0.94]) following the onset of the pandemic. Furthermore, a small increase in the frequency of non-marijuana drug use was observed (OR = 1.79, 95 % CrI: [1.02, 3.21]) among individuals who used these substances. CONCLUSIONS: These findings concur with a small number of studies identifying a decrease in drug use prevalence but increase in frequency among those who continue to use drugs. Despite the protective effect of lower drug use prevalence, higher frequency of use may lead to additional negative health outcomes of drug use, particularly among groups facing multiple health challenges such as YMSM-YTW. However, the pandemic likely has a unique impact on substance use behaviors across subpopulations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Homosexuality, Male , Marijuana Use/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Transgender Persons , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/psychology , Cohort Studies , Female , Homosexuality, Male/psychology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Marijuana Use/psychology , Pandemics , Prevalence , Substance-Related Disorders/diagnosis , Transgender Persons/psychology , Young Adult
12.
BMJ Open ; 11(4): e045258, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1166502

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic and its control measures have impacted health and healthcare provision in various levels. Physical distancing measures, for instance, may affect sexual health, impacting access to HIV prevention supplies and changing sexual behaviour, as well as mental health, increasing feelings of unsafety and weakening community support ties. These effects can be worsened among socially marginalised groups, such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW). Brazil is among the countries most affected by COVID-19 in the world, where control measures have been inconsistently implemented. We aim to investigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sexual and mental health of adolescent and adult MSM and TGW in Brazil. METHODS: Convergent mixed-method prospective cohort study, nested in two ongoing HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) cohorts in Brazil, named PrEP1519 and Combina. Participants will be invited to answer, at baseline and after 6 months, a questionnaire about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual behaviour, HIV prevention and mental health. Data on HIV infection and sexually transmitted infections (STI) will be collected as part of routine follow-up from the cohorts. Main outcome measures (HIV infection, STI and depression symptoms) will be observed within 12 months after baseline. Sample size is estimated at 426 participants. Complementarily, 50 participants will be invited to in-depth interviews through video calls or interactive voice response, and 20 will be invited to chronicle their lives during the pandemic through digital diaries. Triangulation will be done across qualitative methods and with the quantitative data. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study was approved by Research Ethics Committees from the Brazilian Universities coordinating the study. Findings will be published in scientific journals and presented at meetings. Informative flyers will be elaborated to communicate study findings to participants and key stakeholders.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Mental Health , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology , Transgender Persons/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Brazil/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Female , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Young Adult
13.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(3)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1146196

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We characterised the impact of COVID-19 on the socioeconomic conditions, access to gender affirmation services and mental health outcomes in a sample of global transgender (trans) and non-binary populations. METHODS: Between 16 April 2020 and 3 August 2020, we conducted a cross-sectional survey with a global sample of trans and non-binary people (n=849) through an online social networking app. We conducted structural equational modelling procedures to determine direct, indirect and overall effects between poor mental health (ie, depression and anxiety) and latent variables across socioecological levels: social (ie, reduction in gender affirming services, socioeconomic loss impact) and environmental factors (ie, COVID-19 pandemic environment). RESULTS: Anxiety (45.82%) and depression (50.88%) in this sample were prevalent and directly linked to COVID-19 pandemic environment. Adjusted for gender identity, age, migrant status, region, education and level of socioeconomic status, our final model showed significant positive associations between relationships of (1) COVID-19 pandemic environment and socioeconomic loss impact (ß=0.62, p<0.001), (2) socioeconomic loss impact and reduction in gender affirming services (ß=0.24, p<0.05) and (3) reduction in gender affirming services and poor mental health (ß=0.19, p<0.05). Moreover, socioeconomic loss impact and reduction in gender affirming services were found to be partial mediators in this model. CONCLUSION: The study results supported the importance of bolstering access to gender affirming services and strengthening socioeconomic opportunities and programmatic support to buffer the impact of COVID-19 pandemic environment on poor mental health among trans and non-binary communities globally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Pandemics/economics , Transgender Persons/psychology , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Latent Class Analysis , Male , Middle Aged , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media , Socioeconomic Factors
14.
J Homosex ; 68(4): 663-672, 2021 Mar 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066067

ABSTRACT

This study explores the community-based strategies that a group of trans women living in Lima, Peru, employed to resist the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their wellbeing. Data was collected through participant observation and focus group discussions during the implementation of a social aid campaign targeted to this population and analyzed through reflexive theoretical thematic analysis. Resistance strategies were understood as forms of social capital grounded in relations of support and connectedness. Results underscored the importance of social cohesion to ameliorate increasing levels of precarity, community leaders as key for linking trans women across different networks, and unified efforts of social groups who share values to influence institutional power. The analysis also captured barriers and challenges that could hinder the development and articulation of social capital. Fostering trust relations and community-organization should be fundamental components for advocacy programs that seek to support the trans women community.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Transgender Persons/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Focus Groups , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Peru/epidemiology , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology , Social Capital , Young Adult
15.
J Homosex ; 68(4): 592-611, 2021 Mar 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1050028

ABSTRACT

While the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States disproportionately impacts marginalized communities, no empiric US-based research has focused specifically on transgender and gender nonbinary (TGNB) people. We examined the pandemic's impact on an established longitudinal cohort of TGNB individuals (N = 208) by administering an online survey between March-June 2020. We used multivariable linear regression to examine reduced LGBTQ/TGNB community support and disruptions in gender-affirming health care as predictors of psychological distress during the pandemic. We found that the pandemic exacerbated ongoing mental health disparities for TGNB individuals. Furthermore, reduced LGBTQ/TGNB support was associated with increased psychological distress during the pandemic. Interruption and/or delay in gender-affirming health care was not associated with increased psychological distress during the pandemic. Special attention is needed to address the unique ways in which TGNB individuals were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes increasing access to LGBTQ/TGNB community support and addressing long-standing health disparities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Pandemics , Transgender Persons/psychology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Mental Health , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Transsexualism , United States/epidemiology
16.
J Subst Abuse Treat ; 122: 108209, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939099

ABSTRACT

Substance use disorders in the United States disproportionately affect minorities and socially vulnerable populations, particularly those at the intersection of racial and sexual minority status. Preceded by over a century-long subjugation to the U.S. government, a recent financial crisis, the devastating hurricanes of 2017, and a string of earthquakes at the end of 2019 and early 2020, the current COVID-19 pandemic is only the most recent disaster to disrupt the local health care system in Puerto Rico. However, the effects of the current emergency and imposed social distancing measures have only exacerbated the underlying vulnerabilities of the transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC) population made bare during these other recent disasters. Clinics and providers who treat patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) in Puerto Rico have had to develop their own safety protocols to limit the spread of the virus while trying to optimize current treatment protocols to maintain the stability of their patients. Despite these measures, we have observed a reduction in the ability of local organizations to outreach to already disconnected transgender and GNC individuals with OUD. For example, due to the government-imposed curfew that began March 15, 2020, some providers engaged in outreach with transgender and GNC sex workers have eliminated nighttime outreach completely. Additionally, a research project surveying all buprenorphine prescribers in Puerto Rico has found that few have received training in treating this vulnerable population, and even fewer report that they are currently providing treatment for transgender or GNC individuals. If Puerto Rico is to address this problem of gross under-representation of a population known to be disproportionately affected by substance use disorders, Puerto Rico must address structural factors to prevent this disparity from widening further during the inevitable future disasters our health care system will face.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Transgender Persons/psychology , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , COVID-19/transmission , Community-Institutional Relations , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Narcotic Antagonists/therapeutic use , Opioid-Related Disorders/rehabilitation , Puerto Rico , Sex Workers , Sexual and Gender Minorities
17.
J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr ; 85(4): e67-e69, 2020 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-900683

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a new pandemic, and its impact by HIV status is unknown. National reporting does not include gender identity; therefore, data are absent on the impact of COVID-19 on transgender people, including those with HIV. Baseline data from the American Cohort to Study HIV Acquisition Among Transgender Women in High Risk Areas (LITE) Study provide an opportunity to examine pre-COVID factors that may increase vulnerability to COVID-19-related harms among transgender women. SETTING: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Miami, New York City, Washington, DC. METHODS: Baseline data from LITE were analyzed for demographic, psychosocial, and material factors that may affect vulnerability to COVID-related harms. RESULTS: The 1020 participants had high rates of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity, homelessness, and sex work. Transgender women with HIV (n = 273) were older, more likely to be Black, had lower educational attainment, and were more likely to experience material hardship. Mental and behavioral health symptoms were common and did not differ by HIV status. Barriers to health care included being mistreated, provider discomfort serving transgender women, and past negative experiences; as well as material hardships, such as cost and transportation. However, most reported access to material and social support-demonstrating resilience. CONCLUSIONS: Transgender women with HIV may be particularly vulnerable to pandemic harms. Mitigating this harm would benefit everyone, given the highly infectious nature of this coronavirus. Collecting gender identity in COVID-19 data is crucial to inform an effective public health response. Transgender-led organizations' response to this crisis serve as an important model for effective community-led interventions.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/psychology , HIV Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Transgender Persons/psychology , Vulnerable Populations/psychology , Boston , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Female , Health Services Accessibility/trends , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Mid-Atlantic Region , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Psychosocial Deprivation , Social Support , Socioeconomic Factors , Southeastern United States
18.
J Adolesc Health ; 67(5): 645-648, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-753384

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The abrupt closure of universities across the U.S. in March 2020 may have sent some lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) college students home to unsafe or unaccepting families and environments. The objective of this study was to examine the mental health needs of LGBT college students in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We fielded a rapid-response online survey in the spring of 2020. We recruited 477 LGBT-identifying college students aged 18-25 years by contacting LGBT-serving organizations on 254 college campuses and through targeted social media advertising. RESULTS: Nearly half (45.7%) of LGBT college students have immediate families that do not support or know their LGBT identity. Approximately 60% of sampled LGBT college students were experiencing psychological distress, anxiety, and depression during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Health-care providers, college and university administrators, and campus counseling centers should take swift action to ensure that LGBT students receive mental health support during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Health Services Needs and Demand/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health Services , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology , Student Health Services , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19 , Female , Health Services Accessibility/economics , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Selection Bias , Sexual Behavior , Surveys and Questionnaires , Transgender Persons/psychology , United States , Universities , Young Adult
19.
AIDS Behav ; 25(1): 73-84, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691201

ABSTRACT

We conducted a web-based survey to understand the impact of social distancing measures on Brazilian MSM and transgender/non-binary lives. A total of 3486 respondents were included in this analysis and the great majority were cismen (98%). The median age was 32 years (IQR: 27-40), 44% non-white, 36% low schooling and 38% low income. Most of participants reported HIV negative/unknown status (77%). Participants on-PrEP reported more condomless anal sex than those off-PrEP. Conversely, 24% off-PrEP were at substantial HIV-risk. PrEP/ART continuation were reported by the majority, despite reports of impediments to medication refill. Transgender/non-binary reported more mental health problems and challenges to access health care. Social and racial disparities were associated with unattainability of maintaining social distancing. Tailored social and economic support policies during COVID-19 pandemic should be made available to these populations. Challenges for PrEP/ART access will demand the implementation of innovative solutions to avoid the expansion of the HIV epidemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Homosexuality, Male/psychology , Physical Distancing , SARS-CoV-2 , Sexual Behavior/psychology , Transgender Persons/psychology , Unsafe Sex/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Sexual and Gender Minorities/psychology
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