MMWR: HIV Services Relatively Stable During COVID-19 Pandemic

TargetHIV

HIV services remained fairly stable during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, with an initial drop but rebound in HIV testing and PrEP prescriptions but stable HIV care in terms of the "proportion of persons linked to HIV care, the number prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and the proportion with a suppressed viral load among those tested...." Results are summarized in HIV Services and Outcomes During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, 2019–2021, 12/2/2022. A notable observation reads:

"In 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act appropriated $90 million to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) recipients to facilitate response to clients’ COVID-19–related health service needs.*** The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) waived certain administrative requirements for RWHAP recipients and subrecipients. These include eligible clients be persons with HIV infection, so that COVID-19 prevention measures could be provided to close contacts who did not have HIV; penalty provisions, including requirements for obligation of funds and core medical services budgets; and the requirement for a nominal charge for clients with incomes above the federal poverty level. Recipients were encouraged to be flexible in client eligibility determinations and recertification processes, including adoption of self-attestation and electronic signatures for jurisdictions that did not already use them. HRSA HAB encouraged adoption of telehealth services and mobile technology to increase access to services."

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