Transient Reductions in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Clinic Attendance and Food Security During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic for People Living With HIV in 4 African Countries

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an unprecedented public health crisis. Governmental responses have varied in stringency and enforcement, sometimes including handwashing, physical distancing, face covering, lockdowns, curfews, and/or suspension of large gatherings and public transportation. In sub-Saharan Africa, policies must precariously balance public health and economic consequences in settings with a high reliance on informal economic activity [1], insufficient social safety net systems [2], and densely populated cities or cramped living conditions that impede physical distancing and hygiene [3]. Failure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic could overwhelm underresourced African healthcare systems [4] and obstruct healthcare access for other conditions due to interrupted supply chains, healthcare provider redeployment or illness, and disrupted transportation [5]. People living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLWH) could be particularly vulnerable to such disruptions [6], with the potential for lifelong consequences if they lead to viral failure and emergent drug resistance. Financial, food security, and social losses could contribute to emotional distress, reduced mental well-being, unhealthy coping strategies, and noncompliance with mitigation measures [7, 8]. We assessed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care and food security in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in 4 African countries.
HIV, East Africa, West Africa, COVID-19 pandemic, Food security
Dear, N., Duff, E., Esber, A., Parikh, A., Iroezindu, M., Bahemana, E., ... & Polyak, C. S. (2021). Transient reductions in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) clinic attendance and food security during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic for people living with HIV in 4 African countries. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 73(10), 1901-1905. DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciab379