HIV testing disruptions and service adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic literature review


Access to treatment and care in safe clinical settings improves people’s lives with HIV. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted vital HIV programs and services, increasing the risk of adverse health outcomes for people with HIV and HIV transmission rates in the community. This systematic literature review provides a meta-analysis of HIV testing disruptions and a synthesis of HIV/AIDS services adapted during COVID-19. We searched scholarly databases from 01 January 2020 to 30 June 2022 using key terms on HIV testing rates and services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The process of how the included articles were identified, selected, appraised, and synthesised was reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. We included 17 articles that reported changes in HIV testing during the COVID-19 pandemic and 22 that reported adaptations in HIV/AIDS services. We found that HIV testing decreased by 37% during the search period because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Service providers adopted novel strategies to support remote service delivery by expanding community antiretroviral therapy dispensing, setting up primary care outreach points, and instituting multi-month dispensing services to sustain client care. Therefore, service providers and policymakers should explore alternative strategies to increase HIV testing rates impacted by COVID-19 and leverage funding to continue providing the identified adapted services.


Mude W, Mwenyango H, Preston R, O'Mullan C, Vaughan G, Jones G




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Testing
    • Testing
  • Co-infections
    • Other


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