The impact of COVID-19 on disruptions of HIV-related services: A rapid review


Background: People living with HIV (PLHIV) and those at risk of HIV are marginalized worldwide and need to reach services regularly. The COVID-19 pandemic can disrupt the HIV care continuum. This study aimed to identify the extent to which HIV-related services have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and how we can overcome these challenges. Methods: In this rapid review, we systematically searched PubMed and Scopus databases, the references of studies, international agencies, and studies “cited by” feature in google scholar till May 28, 2021, without restrictions to language. Results: Among the total of 1,121 studies, 31 of them were included in the review. The most important HIV-related services affected by the COVID-19 pandemic were; access to anti-retroviral drugs, HIV testing, periodic HIV-related testing in people living with HIV (PLHIV), pre-exposure prophylaxis, post-exposure prophylaxis, harm reduction services, psychological and counseling services. Some factors were introduced to mitigate the effects of these challenges, including increasing the resilience of health, protecting health care workers and their clients against COVID-19 through vaccination, providing HIV-related services through telehealth, and multi-month dispensing (MMD) of medicines. Conclusion: The results of this review study showed that PLHIV had difficulty in accessing follow-up, care and treatment services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Programs such as the MMD or telemedicine can be useful in providing services to PLHIV during the pandemic.


Mirzaei H, Moradi Y, Abbaszadeh S, Nasiri N, Mehmandoost S, Khezri M, Tavakoli F, Sharifi H




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


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