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Investigation into the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for people living with HIV

Lo, Sze Wing Karina; Muschialli, Luke; Fernandez, Thomas; Smith, Colette; Peppa, Dimitra; Burns, Fiona; (2023) Investigation into the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for people living with HIV. International Journal of STD & AIDS 10.1177/09564624231179275. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: People living with HIV (PLWH) report high levels of anxiety. This study assessed the prevalence of COVID-19-related anxiety in PLWH. METHODS: Participants were recruited from two UK HIV clinics (01/03/2020 - 30/05/2022) and asked to complete the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale. The proportion with scores ≥9 (cut-off for dysfunctional pandemic-related anxiety) and ≥1 (reporting of any pandemic-related anxiety) were analysed. RESULTS: 115 PLWH were included, predominantly identifying as male (83.5%, n = 96), white (58.3%, n = 67) and reporting post-secondary education (82.6%, n = 95), with a median age of 51 years (range 22-93). Median CAS score was 0, with 4.4% scoring ≥9 (n = 5). More women scored ≥9 than men (16.7% (n = 3) and 2.1% (n = 2) respectively). Black African (13.6%, n = 3) and Other Ethnic Minority PLWH (25%, n = 2) had a greater proportion of scores ≥9 than White/Asian PLWH (both 0%). SARS-CoV-2 exposure was associated with scores greater than 1 but not greater than 9. CAS score was not associated with lower CD4 (<350 cells/mm3), detectable HIV viral load (≥50 copies/ml), or a history of pre-pandemic anxiety. CONCLUSIONS: Pandemic-related anxiety was low, but we identified a sub-population reporting dysfunctional pandemic related anxiety. Future work should further investigate the psychological impact of the pandemic on this group.

Type: Article
Title: Investigation into the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for people living with HIV
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/09564624231179275
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/09564624231179275
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2023. Creative Commons License (CC BY 4.0) This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Epidemiology, Europe, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), location, other, viral disease
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10172051
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