Syndemic effect of COVID-19 outbreak on HIV care delivery around the globe: A systematic review using narrative synthesis


BACKGROUND: The burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare systems worldwide has been compromising the progress made in the fight against HIV. This paper aims to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted HIV comprehensive care service delivery globally as well as to consolidate the evidence and recommendations that may be useful in averting future crisis. METHODS: This review adheres to PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, DOAJ, Science Direct and other sources like Google Scholar and citations from included studies were searched methodically to locate studies evaluating the effects of COVID on services for HIV care. The NIH and JBI quality assessment tools were used for the quality assessment of individual studies. RESULTS: In the present review 31 eligible studies were included and the impact on HIV care cascade were summarised under six themes: Lab services, Treatment and allied services, Counselling services, Outreach services, Psycho-social impact and Implementation of sustainable strategies. The studies also presented many innovative alternatives which were lucidly highlighted in the present article. CONCLUSION: Current evidence depicts multiple factors are responsible for the interruption of HIV care service delivery during the pandemic, especially in low resources settings. The prospective, alternative solutions that have been used to circumvent the threat have also been addressed in this review, in addition to the negative aspects that have been observed. Transition with new innovative, sustainable care paradigms may prove to be the building blocks in removing HIV-AIDS as a public health threat.


Chakrabarti R, Agasty D, Majumdar A, Talukdar R, Bhatta M, Biswas S, Dutta S




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
    • General HIV- population
  • Co-infections
    • Other
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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