Infectious Disease

Problems associated to COVID-19 may enhance the incidence of HIV in MSM

March 07, 2021

2 min read

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Disclosure:
Mitchell reports that while undergraduate he received grants from the NIH and an honorarium for speaking from Gilead Sciences outside of the work submitted. In the study you will find all relevant financial information from all other authors.

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Pandemic disruption to HIV testing treatment could lead to more than 10% increases in new HIV infections in men who have sex with men in the United States, researchers reported.

The researchers modeled the effect that a decrease in condom use, HIV testing, virus suppression, PrEP initiation and adherence, and ART initiations could be caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kate M. Mitchell

“We had previously modeled HIV transmission and treatment in men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States.” Kate M. Mitchell, PhD, a research fellow at Imperial College London, said Healio. “In the spring of 2020, there were reports of disruptions in HIV testing and treatment and changes in sexual behavior in the US due to the COVID-19 pandemic and measures to combat COVID-19. We decided to use our model to estimate the overall impact of all of these various disruptions related to COVID-19. “

To quantify the potential impact of COVID-19-related disorders on HIV incidence and mortality among MSM in the United States, Mitchell and colleagues used an HIV transmission model for MSM in Baltimore, as well as available data on COVID-19. Disorders related Disorders of HIV services.

According to the study, in their main analysis, the researchers modeled disruptions due to COVID-19 starting January 1, 2020 and lasting 6 months. They estimated the median change in new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths in MSM over 1 and 5 years compared to a scenario without COVID-19-related disorders.

The study showed that reducing condom use, HIV testing, virus suppression, PrEP initiation, and adherence, and reducing 6 months of treatment for HIV by 50% resulted in an estimated mean increase in new HIV of 10.5 % would result in infections over 1 year and a mean increase of 3.5% over 5 years and an increase in HIV-related deaths.

Mitchell said reducing the number of sexual partners with MSM by 25% could prevent the increase in new HIV infections. However, this would still lead to an approximately 11% increase in HIV deaths.

“It is important to ensure that people living with HIV continue to have access to treatment and support to follow up on their treatment well during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent excessive HIV-related mortality,” Mitchell said. “This may include the increased use of digital and telemedicine approaches, and it will be important to evaluate the services to ensure that they reach those who need them most.”

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