The HIV prevention and care service was resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic, and services partially rebounded in quarter 3 (Q3) of 2020 following a decline in Q2, according to research published in the Dec. 2 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Noting that the goal of the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic in the United States initiative is to decrease new HIV infections by 90 percent by 2030, Karen W. Hoover, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the use of HIV prevention and care services and HIV outcomes. Changes in these measures were assessed during 2019 to 2021.
The researchers found that a total of 2,471,614 HIV tests were performed, 190,955 persons were prescribed preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and 8,438 persons received a diagnosis of HIV infection during Q1 of 2020. During Q2, there was a decrease of 32, 6, and 26 percent in HIV tests performed, persons prescribed PrEP, and persons receiving an HIV diagnosis, respectively.
During Q3, partial rebounds were observed. During the study period, the proportion of persons linked to HIV care, number prescribed antiretroviral treatment, and proportion with a suppressed viral load test among those tested remained stable.
“The HIV prevention and care service system was resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors write. “Although HIV testing and PrEP services were disrupted in the spring of 2020, these services started to rebound by summer 2020.”
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
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